Personal Search Engine
September 28, 2005 4:40 PM   Subscribe

Rollyo allows you to roll your own search engine out of Yahoo by narrowing to relevant sites for a given topic. Searches are optionally public and tagged so experts in a given field can offer searches to everyone. For example, physicist Brian Greene offers a search of sites on string theory, politician and pundit Arianna Huffington offers a search of political sites, and John Battelle, author of The Search, offers a search of news about search engines. But these are just some semi-famous people. Anyone can make a focused search about anything.
posted by scottreynen (17 comments total)
posted by sourbrew at 4:49 PM on September 28, 2005

No, actually via. I didn't think that was worth mentioning, as it won't be there tomorrow, and there's no one person missing the attribution.
posted by scottreynen at 4:55 PM on September 28, 2005

I was just trying to figure out the other day how to limit google site searches to only a few domains. Looks like this will work fine.
posted by bigmusic at 5:30 PM on September 28, 2005

This is neat! Though I wish it pulled results from more places than just Yahoo! Has anyone used the "Import bookmarks" tool to create a searchroll? Does it just import everything, and you have to edit, after? Can you edit the exported file, first?

And now I can feel even more insignificant, in the harsh light of "high roller" envy. Thanks!
posted by steef at 5:35 PM on September 28, 2005

High rollers. Whoops.
posted by steef at 5:46 PM on September 28, 2005


posted by eyeballkid at 5:53 PM on September 28, 2005

I can't believe they opted to have the science person a male, and the shopping person a female.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:22 PM on September 28, 2005

For all its engineering genius, Google can seem a little lacking in marketing -- they have lots of functionality that they never bother to make GUIs for.
posted by Tlogmer at 9:46 PM on September 28, 2005

Tlogmer, any good external GUIs or one-stop documentation for this functionality?
posted by Gyan at 10:03 PM on September 28, 2005

Personally I wasn't that impressed. Many of the guest 'expert' areas have names that don't give much insight into what they stand for. Other areas rely too heavily on blogs which contain phrases mentioned in passing, but with no real contributory value to the searches. Current event coverage, e.g., Tom DeLay, is essentially non-existent. Narrow searches, for which Google is perfect, give no results. For instance, "portfolio turnover" (with quotes) and "define inventory" (without quotes) got me nowhere.

Further, the material they have is not properly indexed. For instance, the "Digital Camera" topic has a page describing a Sony camera with 8 megapixel capacity. Yet when I do all-topic search for "megapixel", Rollyo says "No results".

Granted that this is a beta application. But it needs a lot more work. How about revisiting Rollyo in a year?
posted by PlanoTX at 10:40 PM on September 28, 2005

It is a good idea with a really bad implementation.

Also... among other people, Debra Messing seems to have beaten Metafilter to the punch (i.e., she has an account.) This makes me worried and scared. Debra fucking Messing?

It has kind of a cute name and icon, but it's very... well.. A-list. I can see this being something with which Cory Doctorow and his cohort will mess around... and ultimately do nothing interesting. The implementation just sucks too much, I think.

Hey, look, here's our very own #1.
posted by blacklite at 11:27 PM on September 28, 2005

I tried a search of the PVR section, as I was actually looking for something, and found some good info. However, you still have to work to make it work well, because sites in the PVR roll also includes sites (such as Engadget) that dedicate perhaps 5% of their content to PVRs.

The good thing about it is that it does limit searching, so you don't get all kinds of market-oid results that you'd get from a regular Yahoo or Google search for anything involving something so marketable as consumer electronics.

So I can definitely see the upside, and I think Yahoo is very smart to keep creating stuff like this because even if it's only used by .01% of web users, it's still significant.
posted by cell divide at 11:34 PM on September 28, 2005

Sorry, I actually thought this was owned by Yahoo-- is it not?
posted by cell divide at 11:35 PM on September 28, 2005

I can't believe they opted to have the science person a male, and the shopping person a female.

At least they didn't have the science person be a stereotyped Latino male.

posted by soyjoy at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2005

No, Rollyo is not a Yahoo site. The founder is Dave Pell (not that I know who he is). It uses the Yahoo search engine is the internal searcher. Personally, I think Google Desktop is a better choice.

My first impression, when I saw the Rollyo icon, is that we were shopping at Target.
posted by PlanoTX at 5:34 PM on September 29, 2005

Rollyo is clearly useless, since searching for "debra messing nude" in the Debra Messing search returns no results.
posted by bigbigdog at 4:45 PM on September 30, 2005

bigbigdog, I wanted to see if Rollyo would find "debra messing" at all in a search of the Rollyo data index. However, it seems there is no longer a general search entry box for Rollyo. "Your Searchbox" is now a tool that is relegated to "coming soon".

How then do you find another person's Searchroll if they are not a 'High Roller' or just 'recently added'?

It looks like this is a Beta that is fading fast.
posted by PlanoTX at 10:25 PM on September 30, 2005

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