Wednesday, August 27, 2008

RollYo: Roll Your Own Stuff Without the Crud

So search engines use a variety of strategies to separate the wheat from the chaff, by which I mean the better stories, coverage and opinions from the billions of pages of junk. With Google, the broad concept is relevance through links, which operates on the presumption that stuff that is more linked and better trafficked is more likely to be good.

Fair enough.

But this is the Naught decade, and one of the magnificent/horrible aspects of information searching and knowledge today is that you can have knowledge on your own terms. So, for example, I choose to avoid right wing news commentary, so I bypass those Fox news links, even though they may receive more page views than the sort of pub I find credible.

The pleasure of this is that we get to filter the myriad range of possibles to a short list. The danger is that we live in worlds where everything we see agrees with our world view. 301,139,941 bubbles.

But let's skip over the danger. Because in reality, we all need some way to take the billions of pages of stuff and boil it down to the relevant-for-mes.

And that is the marvelous idea behind RollYo, the search engine that lets you "roll your own" results. Now what the Hell does that mean, pray tell?

Let's let them tell you:

Rollyo is the fast, easy way to create personal search engines using only the sources you trust.

Are you tired of wading though thousands of irrelevant search results to get to the information you want? Ever wish you could narrow your search to sites you already know and trust? With Rollyo, you can easily create your own custom search engines - we call them Searchrolls - and explore, save, and personalize those created by others.

Rollyo puts the power of search in your hands, by giving you the tools to create your own personal search engines - with no programming required. All you have to do is pick the sites you want to search, and we'll create a custom search engine for you. Not quite ready to roll? We've created a starter kit of Searchrolls you can personalize.

What you do is:

1. Join
2. Select a list of sites you want searched or use some of the starter rolls that provide prefab lists of content sites grouped by theme.
3. Start searching

An example might be for me to do a political search on TPM, HuffPost, and RawStory. All left of center. Or news of Brangelina from OMG and Perez. Nothing else. Just my short list of sites.

Now, because it is 2008, you can also share and learn from one another. Share your search rolls, or borrow someone else's. You can still customize, it just gives you a starting point.

Additionally they offer a toolbar, and access to celeb searchrolls from leaders in poltiics, entertainment, lit, etc.

I have reviewed a semantic search site or two, and talk about my Yahoo Love more than you care to hear, I imagine. But I generally avoid reviewing all the little search engines because the space frankly needs some consolidation. I just stick to the few that seem really innovative and remarkable.

Well, RollYo is genuinely different, and remarkably cool. Roll one of your own today!

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write.

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