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januari 23, 2009

Project: Mindpark Mediesök (customized search)

Mindpark Mediesök is the first in a series of customized entrypoints for search. It is best described as ”between to little and to much”, or between the small site search and the full Google search. Others to follow might be regional (skanesok.se), wide (sportsok.se) popular (modesok.se) or very narrow (24hbcsok.se).

The process is built to be as simple as possible, yet flexible and scalable. A new search is up and running in just a few minutes, by simply duplicating a few files and changing the domains to include.

It involves two well known and free tools:
Features include, but are not limited to,
  • Search within a defined range of domains
  • Sort domains into categories such as ”press”, ”blogs” for further massage of the search result
  • Define a weight to every domain in order to present the search results in a non-default order (dangerous, but powerful feature;)
  • Searchbox is widgetified and distributable.
The solution was setup within the 24 hour frame and made possible thru the use of really simple and freely available tools. Work remains to be done on the presentation and the dataset used, and documentation needs to be written. But as a proof of concept it is ready, and in fact, the product is quite useful already.

This solution is targeted in multiple directions. Of course it is meant to be an excellent service to the end user, and as such it is a great complement to existing sites. I can envision sydsvenskan.se refer to hockeysok.se everytime they write about MIF Redhawks. But as the idea and documentation is open source I see no reason why it should not attract other groups as well.

If needed the solution can be capitalized thru the fact that generic searches, normally considered worthless, is now in a context where they might become relevant. A search on "magnus karlsson" on the big google is almost impossible to make relevant, but the same search on mediesok.se is not. But I would rather see the solution being used as a quality booster, for the good of mankind.

Additional credits: Theme ”Whitespace” by Brian Gardner. Plugin ”Blogroll to Google CSE” by Techxplorer.

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