22 August 2009

Pleke - How It Started

Hi, my name is Mauricio Macedo, I am the co-creator of Pleke alongside my co-worker and good friend Andre Vacari. A few months ago I was thinking about how Google grew to become such a major force on the internet. I use Google since 1999. At that time, all major search engines were adopting strategies to become portals, in order to capute eyeballs (that's us) for more time. Then Google came out with an innovative concept: simple design and best ranking for results. Instead of trying to capture keep people on its site the maximum amount of time possible, Google's plan was to give the right result and let them people go ASAP, trusting that once it made search simple they would come back over and over again. Google's plan worked as intended, to the point that it is now a verb to obtain information on the Web.
When I first started using Google, my connection to the internet was through a 33.6kbps modem and I had a 800x600 pixels 15" monitor. Google's simplicity meant that in a few seconds my screen was filled with relevant results. It all changed after ten years: my current 2 Mbs broadband internet connection is about 50 times faster than my old dial-up modem connection, and my current 1280x1024 19" monitor is 2.5 times larger than my old one.

Then it struck me that Google did not keep up this evolution. The simple page that took only a few seconds to fill up a monitor in 1999 now takes less than one second and does not fill up a modern monitor! Google could send more infomation to help the searcher! What type of information? With the rise of broadband access, the internet is even more multimedia than before, Youtube and Flickr didn't exist until 2004. So the idea to merge results from web pages, images, video and news was born.

What could two brazilian guys do, besides sending an e-mail to the Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and pray? We searched for web widgets that could do specialized searchs in order to create a search mashup, when Andre found the holy grail of unified search, direct from the most unexpected source: Google. Google has a Search API that does almost exactly what we dreamed of. So we created Pleke, a working prototype to raise Google's attention to its own technology that deserves the spotlight.

If you like this new concept for search, please let Google know by sending a message to the Pleke discussion group.