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Mahalo.

by Chris Coyier

You might have heard of the new search engine Mahalo from former Weblogs, inc. CEO Jason Calcanis. The “engine” in this case is not powered by algorithms but by humans beings creating search results pages by hand. The result is very nice. Check out the page for Kaitlyn Kasitter, the poor girl who had her feet severed at Six Flags. The page is clean and full of relevant links, has a “fast facts” section for a quick review, has a place to submit new links, and many ways to share the page.

How does Mahalo plan to undertake the enormous task of writing all search results by hand? Basically, paid crowd-sourcing. Part-Time Guides are getting paid $10-$15 for each search result page they write. The Guides request a page they wish to create, if it’s accepted they create it, it goes through Quality Control, and ultimately ends up as a search result page (then they get paid). I imagine the business model includes advertising at some point, although the site is currently ad free.

There is a bigger reason you might be interested: they are giving away a whole bunch of iPhones. One contest is to “create the World’s Best Search Result“. It can be any search term, but the results must be fantastic. Three phones are being given away. The contest ends July 13th.

Also, hot off the presses is another iPhone contest. They are giving away 100 iPhones (!) to the first 100 Part-Time Guides who reach 100 accepted search results pages. This contest ends September 1st.

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