This is a nice idea, actually. Whack a slider up there at the top of the search results, help you to filter out the omnipresent webshill crud. Shopping versus research, the infotainment revenue-generation cage-match of our times.
One of the things that annoys me greatly, every time I search for some information on an author or a book, is the way that Amazon (and the dense cloud of parasite associate gnats it trails behind it, all buzzing and jostling for a sip of the great beast’s blood) pops to the top, without fail.
Sometimes I even sigh quietly to myself, give in, and click through, hating myself for letting the shopping mall win.
So this Yahoo thing seemed like it might be right up my alley. Until, of course, I noticed that even with the bar slid hard a-starboard, pedal to the research-metal, the first (paid, placed-ad) result, helpfully highlighted, was for E-bay.
Ahhh, go screw yourself, Yahoo.
The irony of using a Yahoo-owned service to host the image I’m showing you is delicious, though. So there’s that.


Join the conversation! 15 Comments

  1. Except that it’s not a search result; it’s an ad. Undoubtably yahoo’s ad results are separate from the algorithm for generating research-related search results.

  2. uh thats the textad not the search result.

  3. Of course it’s a fucking text ad! That’s my fucking point! Jesus christ, it’s gotten worse out there than I’d thought.
    *stops yelling*

  4. I’ll edit the post to make that clearer, though, ’cause I’m so damn helpful. Just like Yahoo.

  5. You know, it’s either have the ads or cut Yahoo–and Google, and MSN, and whatever other search engine you use–a check every month for the privilege of using the damn search engine. I appreciate the DIY, open-source, free-as-in-speech and free-as-in-beer aesthetic, but scale costs money. Someone has to pay for the massive server farms that make these services possible. Possible solutions include government funding, subscription plans, corporate underwriting, or ads. I’ll put up with–or block–the ads.

  6. Sure, sure, we try and ignore the brown part of the shit sandwich while the bread gets thinner every damn day, ’cause we don’t have much choice. I’m with you there.
    But silence=death as they used to say before the choice became silence or unAmericanism.
    Remember when they didn’t have the gulags? I do, but it seems so long ago….

  7. What’s your alternative? How should major commercial projects like search engines get funded?

  8. Let a thousand flowers bloom!
    Need a search engine be a ‘major commercial project’? Do they really need to be funded? Why?
    Google didn’t turn to the dark side until it started fucking around with its basket of loosely-coupled toys, going all shareholder-value enhancing, domination-bound, cashed-up and major and commercial.
    It was a noticeably better search engine than the others when it was still a couple of boxes in a closet. I remember it when it was wee, and not the grunty self-pleasuring driver for autoerotic ad-revenue it has become.
    Google knows they won’t own search forever. So does everyone else.
    It’s a matter of time until a couple of other smart guys or gals come up with some cool new tech, and it’ll only be a matter of time before they monetarize and cash out too, and then it’ll all start over again.
    I hope. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, but those who extrapolate from it with too much feigned certainty are invariably kicked in the nuts by reality somewhere up the road…

  9. Need a search engine be a ‘major commercial project’? Do they really need to be funded? Why?
    Yes. Because, as I mentioned above, scale costs money. Sure, if I had the programming chops, I could build a search engine and run it off a box in my closet, but what happens when someone else wants to use it? And then another someone else, and another, and another… You can only run the website on your box in the closet for so long. Eventually the bandwidth required for all those users and storage required for the massive databases will necessitate shelling out some cash.
    There are thousands of examples of this around the web. You pointed out Flickr yourself. Here’s another: Even if you’re not big on tags, you have to admit that half the web is wetting their shorts over the concept, and was key in starting all of that. Sure, is free and ad-free, but after the disclosure that it obtained some vc funding I have to imagine somebody is working very hard on a business plan to recoup that investment.

  10. Yes. Because, as I mentioned above, scale costs money.
    Scale becomes increasingly cheap. Moore’s law and all that. And you’ll have a hard time convincing me that more horsepower is the best solution to scaling when it comes to data, anyway.
    after the disclosure that it obtained some vc funding I have to imagine somebody is working very hard on a business plan to recoup that investment.
    Aye, there’s the rub. You see that as natural, I see it as wrongheaded, greedy and stupid. I don’t think we’re going to end up agreeing here.

  11. Wrongheaded, greedy, stupid and inevitable, let me add.

  12. By the way, I don’t go on about this stuff to change the world or anyone’s mind — the hell with that — I do it for myself, to straighten my mind out a bit and shake off the Received Wisdom that settles like volcanic ash on my head all the damn time.

  13. I understand completely; I abhor the idea that everything that gets put on the web–or anywhere else for that matter–has to make somebody money. My law firm, for example, is in the process of deciding whether to start a firm blog. Bleh. The partners involved in the decision all see it as–and only as–a potential marketing device; yet another way to position the firm advantageously. Marketing first, content second.
    As for I don’t see Joshua’s decision to get vc funding as natural, but once the decision is made I do see the inevitable need to recoup the investment as natural. Josh didn’t need to get funding, but without funding he would have inevitably had to restrict the user base and the features offered. That’s fine with me; I can think of at least one community that still thrives after closing its doors, and I can think of one other that probably should have kept its doors shut. But there’s only so much you can do with limited resources.

  14. True, but I believe quite strongly that the growth necessarily=good, in spheres economic and otherwise, is more than a bit of a myth.
    And if awareness of the limited resources that compel us to manage and even curtail growth underpinned bottomline calculations a little more, we’d all be better off, I think.
    /strays from the point

  15. If I’d had my coffee yet this morning, I’d write something meaningful about how this is all related to craving and our resistence of impermanence. I think we basically agree, though.

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