My name is Adam Curry and this section will contain info about me in the future, as soon as I get a few other things done.
Clearly it's time for me to start taking this blog roll serious, as it is now at it's own url: blogroll.curry.com
My LinkBlog (updates very frequently)
I just used a term in a tweet that needs to be re-codified.
This had a very different meaning a few years back.
Now we use it to describe a company departing form the core values it's users loved it for in the first place, in order to continue their growth as a company.
"Search engine DuckDuckGo will be going google soon enough."
[Google don't give me goats!]
Imagine you could control Google Search for an entire day.
Really run with this. Here's a list of possible preferences:
Make it return only the results you are interested in.
No gamed SEO results
Display perfectly for your screen or device
Give priority to websites, domains and other parameters you determine
Not push other Google properties like Google+into the results, unless it's from places there that you desire.
Not have Google track what you are doing to determine your next search
If you could have this for 24 hours, would you be willing to pay less than $2 for that?
You can come pretty close for $1.92 a day.
That's exactly the price I'm paying for all the features I listed above for running the my own YaCy search engine peer on a Rackspace hosted Server.
Over the course of the past 2 years, I've slowly but surely been moving myself off all cloud services.
The backstory was the sudden shutdown of Drop.io, a service I not only supported and heavily promoted when it was struggling startup, but also used to store a lot of information.
Facebook purchased the company for it's programming talent and shut down the service.
The nature of the service (which I paid for btw) had resulted in an unorganized collection of 'drops' that contained audio files, shownotes, feedback from people and no way for me to find everything and download it, no matter how much time I had (they gave everyone 6 weeks.)
So I decided to learn how to run my own servers, services and infrastructure.
Its been quite a journey
Since then I have built, configured and learned how to run the following services
Mail Services (with sql based search)
RSS feed generator
Rivers Of News
Content Management System
I think its an impressive list.
Most of this came from following the EC2 for Poets program, which includes open source software and instructions on how to install and maintain it on solid infrastructure from Amazon or any other Hosting provider.
The only thing missing was my own search. (Well, maps are also a big deal, but that will be a future project)
Its hard to beat Google Search. For me GS had become an all you can eat command line natural language magic box.
Its browser integration is seamless, ubiquitous, and its fast.
But then things changed
Google Search started to suck.
Results became muddled with information gleaned from other Google services, like Google+
Results are now filled with 'News', that I have no way of filtering out.
I don't get the same results as other people using the same search terms or in a different location, which means Google is making decisions for me that I may not want or agree with.
And the final straw is their new Terms of Service, that is clearly created to track more of my behavior for their profit.
All fine and dandy, but I'm opting out.
Since there's no option to pay Google for the actual service I want, as described in my wish list, I'm happy to pay for the joy of running it myself.
I first heard about the peer to peer search network YaCy about a year ago, and recently the got a lot of typical tech press that consisted of the usual 'Can it kill Google' bullcrap, written by copy/pasters who had never tried to install, configure and run the software themselves. I know this with certainty. Why? because it isn't trivial and probably won't work for most first timers out of the box.
I spent the past week, a lot of it in semi all-nighters figuring out how to make it work, scouring the wiki's, forums and blogposts.
No surprise that Google search results weren't very helpful :-)
But in the end, I persevered and have been using my own custom built and configured search engine for about a week now and am extremely happy with the results.
John C Dvorak invented a search engine test. He does a lot of gardening and has always wanted to find honest reviews on the best weed wackers. If a search engine can perform this task properly, without throwing a multitude of covert ads for wackers into the stream, then you have a properly configured and useful search engine.
Here's a screenshot of my personal search engine, which I've named ACYACY, next to Google, competing in the Weed Wacker test.
I like what I'm getting from ACYACY. In particular the real user reviews, information from specialists and even a suggestion to use goats. Although I appreciate Google's consumer reports link, the CR page and just about everything else on the page is trying to sell me a weed wacker.
Bear in mind that my search engine is configured to my personality, it indexes and gives priority to sites I trust to link to valuable sources.
I really love the Goats idea. I think I'll give John one for his birthday.
My next steps will be to document the setup and configuration of ACYACY for folks like me. A poets guide similar to the one I enjoyed using so much for my other applications and infrastructure.
And I shall of course call it YaCy for Poets.