San Francisco, California

Searching the Creative Internet

David Crawshaw has a wondrous idea for a new type of search engine that doesn’t scan the commerical web and instead indexes indie blogs, podcasts, and art instead:

What I miss is that I could "go on the internet" and be in a creative corner of the human experience. Today if you "go on the internet", that means you pulled your phone out of your pocket, dismissed some notification spam and start reading click-bait shared by people you have met on social media.

Today you have to choke your way through the money-making miasma to find the joy.

[...] What is clear to me is that it is time for separate tools. A search engine designed to be used by billions of people every day to do daily tasks is not one that will be appropriate for weekend meanderings though obscure topics. A content-sharing site like Reddit that encourages links to the New York Times will not generate thoughtful discussion.

What is not clear to me yet is how those tools should work. How do we build a search engine that penalizes media outlets and promotes blogs and podcasts? How do we distinguish between a research paper or an article written by someone about their daily life aboard ISS on nasa.gov from their useless press releases?

There’s a feeling of being extremely online where you suddenly trip onto a blog like David’s — I always get thoroughly excited about someone making something because they care, rather than if they’re just trying to make a quick buck.

But these days I rarely feel that way — I don’t surf the web in the way that I used to and I tend to box myself inside giant, boring corporate structures instead. I’m no longer diving into weird forums or reading a strange blog about pigeons or something anymore.

And I feel like David’s search engine could fix that.