I got acquainted with the project founder Luis Pereira on Twitter and decided to get a short interview with him to share with SEJ readers because I find Stumpedia a good example of how to develop and promote an idea on the web.
You’ve recently launched a new human-powered search engine. Can you describe how it works and what’s more important how it is different from existing “social” search engines.
In its simplest form Stumpedia is a personalized search engine. It enables registered users to submit sites along with matching keywords and phrases. Users can then rate the relevancy of content by voting, re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on search results. With just a single click users can move the results they like to the top or add a new site.
In addition Stumpedia offers a place to store and share your favorite links and can also be described as a social semantic search project. Humans can easily interpret search queries such as ‘What is the population of California?’ and the Stumpedia user community can easily add links to relevant SERPs.
Where Stumpedia is unique is the fact that the ranking and relevancy of public data is ultimately determined and controlled by the community.
Why ‘Stumpedia’? Wasn’t you afraid it will be confused with StumbleUpon for example?
I went through a process of thinking of words that projected the image I wanted for the website. Most of the words I came up always seemed to project some of the feelings one has when they are stumped. Considering one of the most successful human-powered projects has been wikipedia, ‘Stumpedia’ seemed like a good choice.
Please tell a few words about yourself. I know it can be hard to speak about yourself (I for one don’t like that question as I usually don’t know what to say not to seem too self-promotional) but I’d love to know just a few details on what brought you to Stumpedia project. Your past projects maybe?
The initial idea for Stumpedia.com came as a result of another web site we launched called AskPoodle.com. Both web sites are described as being human-powered, where as Stumpedia.com is a global search engine for keyword driven searches, AskPoodle.com is a local business directory for the US market. In 1998 I became very
interested and intrigued by online search and began working on a local business web portal.
It was to be called the Global Business Network Directory (GBND) or the Global Business Web Directory (GBWD). Due to lack of funding and uncertainty about the direction in which ecommerce and the internet was heading, I was forced to put this project on hold. In 2005, I resumed my work on the concept for a local business web directory with a renewed fervor and AskPoodle.com was born.
Your human-powered search engine made a great buzz when it was launched. I don’t expect you to share all your secrets 🙂 but what were your most effective tactics to tell the world about it?
Actually it was more luck then skill. We decided to do a press release to announce the launch and were lucky enough to have some social media gurus and participants share it with their network of friends. Some of the major sites used were Mixx, Digg, and Sphinn.
How was the monetization idea born? It is quite unique and innovative.