Alex Wright

Rolling with Walt

February 2, 2006

A nice hit for my client Rollyo in today's Wall Street Journal, courtesy of Walt Mossberg:

Rollyo stands for "Roll Your Own Search Engine." While it uses Yahoo's search technology, it allows you to target a query by limiting the Web sites that are searched to only those you think will yield the best results. Instead of searching the entire Web for "sourdough," you could limit your search to a collection of sites you believe have the best information about bread. These customized search engines are called "searchrolls."

To create a searchroll, you go to the Rollyo site ( and specify as many as 25 sites that you believe are the most relevant on any given topic. If you don't want to manually type in the Web sites to be included in a searchroll, you can upload your browser bookmarks to Rollyo and just select the ones you want to use.
You wouldn't want to use Rollyo for every search you perform. But if you often search in a few specific topic areas, it might be worth it to use, or create, a searchroll covering that area.
Major search engines are experimenting with ideas similar to Rollyo's, and you can do some of what PubSub does in certain "RSS reader" programs that manage summaries of blogs and news sites. But Rollyo and PubSub work well and are worth a look.
> Walt Mossberg on Rollyo
> Roll your own

File under: User Experience

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