PreFound.com is a new collaborative, community-oriented search site which proceeds from two interesting premises:
- people are better at evaluating search results than search engines, and,
- surely someone has searched for information on a particular topic before you
PreFound.com intends to leverage the collective knowledge of Internet users to improve the reliability and results from search engines. Users type a keyword or phrase into PreFound.com’s familiar search box and receive a group of search results which have been gathered by previous PreFound.com users and arranged by popularity within the PreFound.com community. Given a large enough community – and enough gathered link lists – PreFound.com’s search results should eliminate useless or irrelevant links in favor of material which is genuinely useful and informative.
Unlike other search engines, PreFound.com also groups all media types together into a single search results lists, so images, Web pages, podcasts, and video can all appear in a single results lists, rather than being relegated to separate areas or sub-services of a larger search engine.
Anyone can surf search results at PreFound.com, but to participate in the PreFound.com community, users must register with PreFound.com and install the (Windows-only) PFfinder software, which enables users to group, organize, and tag search results and send their evaluations back to PreFound.com. PFfinder is essentially an extension of current tagging implementations, moving the work out of the Web browser and into a separate, dedicated utility which offers improved navigation and site-diving functions.
“Unless you’re searching for something quite unusual, you can be pretty sure that people have already searched for and found the very same information that you’re looking for,” said Steve Mansfield, PreFound’s co-founder. “At PreFound.com, you can leverage the work already done by others using the PFfinder tool and build on that base rather than repeat it. Why re-invent the search wheel when most of the work has already been done for you?”
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