Gnomedex: Jason Calacanis: The Internet Environmental Crisis, ummm, Mahalo Mahalo Mahalo

Jason began with an homily to the early Internet when everyone was good and there was no trolling or spam. That time didn’t exist, but fine – it’s certainly true that there’s no good way any longer to run an email newsletter business.

Next there’s the cycle of technology: cool stuff gets interrupted by marketers, and the technology moves away from the pollution or dies. E-mail died, choked with spam. Now SEO is in the same boat – search gets destroyed by overaggressive marketers. We’ve started to route around it in search just as we do in e-mail spam. But blogs haven’t lost just yet, though everybody talks about deleting spam from their comments. user-generated video is also surviving – consumers aren’t being overrun by marketing videos. Payola is taking over Digg & Netscape, content’s being stolen and republished.

Jason segues (without comment) to Mahalo, his product, using human beings to organize the search results around key searches. Talked about the early objections around whether they could scale to beyond 9,000 hand-crafted results – started a greenhouse for people to do this. People can submit links for an editor to see and editor will accept/reject and why.

Can’t get people to switch from Google, so they’ve created Mahalo Follow, an extension that will compare their results to Google/Yahoo (as well as content-rich sites), to allow you to compare human results with Google results.

Unfortunately nobody was unable to move this back to the original topic (and the interesting issues w/r/t stopping marketing pollution in other realms), and so Jason was able to continue to do product analysis and pitching.

Lots of this ends up being inside baseball, and other folks will blog on that because they like doing so. Eh.


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