Idea: Roll Your Own Search Engine

Roll of MoneyThere’s an awesome plugin I’ve been using over the past few days called Foxmarks. It syncs your Firefox bookmarks between computers. Most people could care less about that (especially if you use delicious or some other social bookmarking/tagging site). But, for those of us who still like the old fashioned way of keeping track of your pages but have to go from a work computer to a home computer, I suggest using Foxmarks to keep everything straight. It syncs with a central server, and then if you’re ever on the road without either your work or home computer, you still have access to your bookmarks via a website that you log into.

Cool huh?

Yup, but not cool enough. After writing my last article about tagging being so sucky, I thought of a great idea. Take Foxmarks (or whatever syncronizing bookmarking system you like), index the pages that are bookmarked (full-text indexing), and create a really good search engine out of your bookmarks. Sound familiar? It should, because that’s how Yahoo! got started.

What’s different? I’ll tell you

What’s different is almost nothing, except why should I rely on Yahoo to tell me what’s important? I have a list of people that I think are valuable to not only read, but take suggestions from. I trust these people. Some of them trust me. So, when I want to search, I want results that are trustworthy.

So, here’s the deal. Make a social site (profiles, categories of interest (or tag words), etc). Allow me to create a “trust link” to my friend’s bookmarks/delicious/magnolia/whatever account. Let me rate them from 1-10 for trustworthiness. Then, let me search 1) my own bookmarks, 2) my friends bookmarks, and 3) the rest of the web all at once. Prioritize them by the “trustworthiness”, first, and when you run out of results, then throw in the rest of the search engine results by page rank or whatever algorithm Google/Yahoo/MSN/Goodsearch/Snap uses now.

Thoughts on this idea? If someone else isn’t doing this already, perhaps I’ll roll a fat one.


Well, after looking around a bit, I found, which looks ok, but I really just want my own search engine. I don’t want a fancy app. I want search results like I’m used to seeing them (with part of the text indexed and shown on the result, etc). I want it easier, faster, cleaner than Rollyo. Anyone else find anything good?

[tags]search engine, opml, bookmarks, tags, roll your own, rollyo[/tags]

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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