How many people do you know who type URLs into their search bar or a search engine (if it's their default home page) instead of typing it into their address bar? The answer is probably "too many." So many, in fact, that it just isn't worth correcting them anymore. So now imagine telling these same people that they can not only conduct sophisticated searches in that search engine text box, but they can use a system of slashes to refine their searches on the fly. Yeah. Good luck with that one.
This, however, is the basis for Blekko, a new search engine that entered public beta today. Here's a video explaining how it works:
Blekko actually has great features and has managed to make search not only social but customizable. The built-in sort and prioritization syntax from their "slashtags" crank out good search results, just as advertised. Even making the slashtags customizable and social is a cool feature.
And it's a feature that only about 1% of Internet users, the geekorati, will get and use. Because let's face it: Google does a pretty good job of telling you what you care about anyway. Google automatically builds a profile and even a tolerably formed search query will give the average user a decent set of results. Why would 99% of the users on the Web bother creating custom hash tags that they can share with their friends? You can even hook Blekko into your Facebook and Twitter accounts, but can you really imagine sharing with your Aunt Tilly that you just created a super-cool new search tag for Blekko and telling her that she should really check it out? No, I don't think so.
This is an example, with Blekko founder, Rich Skrenta's Sun Engineering pedigree, Silicon Valley venture capital, and Michael Arrington's glowing review, of plenty of geeks not thinking like consumers. This is one company, however, that Google should snap up right now, take advantage of their IP, implement some of their more useful features like spam flagging and advanced syntax for power users.