Recently I’ve starting using Twitter Search to find people talking about topics that interest me. One of my serendipitous finds was Gabriel Weinberg, who is reported to have single-handedly built a search engine called Duck Duck Go. I’ll suspend judgement on the name–after all, Beyond Search blogger Steve Arnold proudly calls himself an addled goose.
Regular readers know that I’m highly skeptical of quixotic attempts to take on the web search market. And I have no reason to believe that Duck Duck Go will achieve meaningful market share in our lifetime.
But Weinberg has truly done more with less. For example, when I do a query for SIGIR , I get a disambiguation dialog that bootstraps on Wikipedia. Yes, these are also the top two hits on Google, but with a dialog that implements clarification before refinement.
I supsect that Weinberg is heavily leveraging Wikipedia. But why not? Why work hard when you can work smart?
And Duck Duck Go can go off the rails, particularly for harder queries. I haven’t tested it enough to scientifically compare its quality to that of the major web search engines.
Still, it makes a strong first impression and have a great interface. At the very least, he’s raising the user experience bar for the common web search use cases. Check it out!