Thursday, December 13

Mahalo Social (Human-Powered Search)

Mahalo (Hawaiian for 'Thank you') is a human-powered search engine that creates organized, comprehensive, and spam free search results for the most popular search terms. Their search results only include great links.


  • Save time
  • Discover great new links
  • Spend time enjoying great content instead of looking for it
  • Say goodbye to spam, mediocre content, and deceptive sites
  • Mahalo focus on the areas where traditional search engines struggle ...more

Mahalo will link you to:

  • Sites that are considered authorities in their field (i.e. the New York Times for news).
  • Sites which create original, high-quality content on a consistent basis.
  • Sites that have been operating for over one year. Sites under a year will be considered, but most will be placed in a "member-submitted" section at the bottom of the page until they hit the one-year mark.
  • Sites that have clean layout, design, and a modest amount of advertising.

If Mahalo hasn't written a page for a search term, it will return a few related Mahalo pages and Google results. If you search on Mahalo, you either get amazing Mahalo results, or Google results.

Recently launched (12 December, 2007) Mahalo Social, empowers users also to collaborate with their friends to create the best search results. Mahalo users now have profiles and can recommend links for Mahalo pages and search terms not written yet.

They have also launched Follow 2.0, which is available for Firefox and Internet Explorer and makes it even easier to recommend links to Mahalo.

I tried to search for 'Courseware' and 'Open Educational Resources', but ended up with a big zero in Mahalo (except for Google stuff, which certainly did not make any sense!). So, I suppose I should recommend these two important terms (at least to me!). Interestingly, I found some interesting stuff searching the terms 'e-learning and 'elearning', which both led me to 'Distance Education', which also included links to Distance Education Blogs and Message Boards. The only noteworthy blog there was George Siemens' elearnspace Blog. Perhaps Mahalo should at least add my top 10 ETL blogs, which include some important authorities in this area.

In addition to giving you a bunch of relevant links, Mahalo does provide a brief Guide Note and Fast Facts for each category (or term), which can be useful. For example, for 'Distance Education' (Actually my search term was e-Learning! Are they the same?) you got the following Fast Facts:

  • Began in the early 19th century (Where?)
  • In 1953 the first college credit over television was offered
  • About 2 million distance students are predicted by 2015 in the United States
  • 1,600 postsecondary schools offer distance learning programs

Also, the 'Distance Education' page included related searches (if any), user recommended links for Distance Education, the ability to discuss this page, and information about who is managing it. Yeah, if you want to know Mahalo's top ranked pages, you can check the top 10, 20, 50, and so on. For example, number 17 (as of today) is Hulk Hogan Divorce. Number one is I Love New York Pregnant.

I am sure people enjoy all this stuff, but I suppose I am getting old! However, this social(bookmarking) learning, or search tool has a lot of great features, and I do not see any reason why courseware and open educational resources could not be part of it in the near future. It is really up to us to make it happen. Perhaps, if it was more like a wiki, it would resemble Wikipedia, but with a focus on relevant and quality links, rather than the actual content describing each term. Hmm, am I getting a new idea, I have no... :)

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