Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

Sproose, but not Moose

Benchmark LY2235 site

Something is wrong. I didn't have much breakfast. Then I couldn't finish lunch (which wasn't that much to begin with) so I put some of it back in the fridge. Thought I would get hungry later but that didn't happen either. Have a lot on my mind, so that could be it.

In the evening, I went to Apshawa Preserve in West Milford for the Bah's Vault #1 geocache. It's the first good geocache I've visited all this week. No extraneous logging requirements. No dubious placement next to a daycare center. Just a simple walk in the woods and then a regular-sized geocache. Most people assume that it would get boring, but if people just placed geocaches like that, I'd be happy. I'm simple that way.

It wasn't a long walk in the woods, so I had enough daylight left to take a look at Benchmark LY2235. It was on a rock outcrop next to the Hamburg Turnpike in Butler. The witness post made finding the survey disk a snap.

I've been checking out Sproose, a social search engine. (I also wrote a few short K-Meleon macros to make it easier to use.) Its claim to fame is that it allows you to vote on search results to move those results up in the search rank. As more people use Sproose and vote on search results, they hope that the most relevant websites will rise to the top. It's an interesting idea but I can see at least two problems with it.

The first problem is it's too much work. When people do web searches, they want to get the websites and information they seek quickly. Who, other than Sproose diehards, would stick around to vote on search results? I think it would be better if Sproose used the click-thru info instead.

The second problem is Sproose does not take the search keywords into account when counting votes. A popular blog like Lifehacker will get more votes than most websites. Because Lifehacker mentioned Autohotkey at some point, when you do a Sproose search for Autohotkey, Lifehacker shows up in the search results. And so, because has more votes than, Lifehacker will get ranked above Autohotkey in the search results. So much for search result relevance! It's not such a problem now, but I predict that as more users come aboard, search results will be dominated by popular blogs and download sites, rendering Sproose pretty much useless as a search engine.

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