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Daymix and the content Web

February 11, 2009 |  6:03 pm

I like Google's search engine, but I sometimes feel like it's overlooking the parts of the Net that could help me the most. For instance, when searching for ideas about where to eat in West Hollywood, it might help to know what places people were Twittering about or to see the bookmarks they'd saved on that topic. Those sources are parts of a portion of the Internet that Mike Jones calls the content Web. Jones' start-up, Tsavo Media, has launched a site called Daymix that offers an interesting upgrade on Google, pairing Google's results with information from other parts of the content Web.

Jones said the site's strength is the massive index the company is creating, which identifies and categorizes Web pages through semantic recognition technology. It's the tool that enables Daymix to quickly deliver relevant results. The next step, he said, will be to improve results over time by paying attention to the way you use the site -- for example, knowing that you've done a lot of searches for cities in Europe, it can tell when you type "Paris" into the search field that you mean the City of Lights, not the Woman of Flashbulbs. There's an obvious privacy trade-off, so a key question for users will be whether Daymix makes a meaningful commitment not to use the behavioral data for anything other than delivering better search results.

I've included an example below using Daymix's widget tool, which lets you embed the results of a Daymix search onto a blog or website. The search is static but the results are dynamic, updating every time the page is loaded. As you can see, much of the content comes from Google's network of sites, including YouTube and Google's news feeds, but there's also material from Flickr, Twitter and The site is rolling out features gradually, Jones said, so I suspect it will look even less like Google over time. He added that the company plans to add content from the other sites that Tsavo owns, which include the Twirlit blog and the cooking site Nibbledish, when it's relevant to the search. Like Daymix, all the sites are ad-supported, sustained mainly by text ads supplied by Yahoo.

-- Jon Healey

Healey writes editorials for The Times' Opinion Manufacturing Division.