Monkey Powered Search Engine

We all know that Google is PigeonPowered™ – now, we have a search engine ran by trained monkeys. Well, not exactly monkeys, but semi-trained people. Yes, you heard that right. When you do a search, it doesn’t hit some massive database containing every web page known to man, it goes to a human for them to figure out.

If I didn’t know better, I’d call it an April-fools’ joke. But, alas, it’s not.

Here’s how it works: You type your query in a very Google-like homepage, but when you hit ‘Search with Guide’ (pressing ‘enter’ will get you a glorified set of InfoSpace results) instead of getting a list of results, you get a chat window. In that chat window you can tell the guide more about your search, and you might, eventually, get an answer. While there is some value to a human edited directory such as DMOZ, I can’t see a human built search engine working out.

I have to wonder how this will work out from the business side, this doesn’t seem to be the greatest business model, as it can’t be cheap to have an army of people sitting around searching for other people. It looks like their business model is based around selling ads, and while that is a high profit market, I can’t see it being enough to cover the expense of having the guides. It’ll be interesting to see how long they last.

Sorry for the rant, but I found this one just too odd to ignore.