Kalem Fletcher wanted to call his company Yoda.com because he believes that he has created the all-wise search site. Unfortunately, Yoda.com has to do with someone’s freakish cat so Fletcher came up with the name Swamii.com instead.
A swami is a Hindu religious teacher. Swamii is a customizable search engine that gives users updates on any Web-related activity around a given search parameter.
Users can set as many as 10 keywords or key searches that they’d like updates on. They can search terms like “Star Wars” or parameters like “Star Wars NOT Star Trek.” Swamii will perform the searches regularly and give results, flushed out by news, blogs, peer to peer sites, web videos and multimedia, television, and job pages. Users can login to see updates on their set searches or have them emailed at a given time interval.
Setting up regular search and news alerts isn’t a new thing but Swamii’s searches are the most comprehensive we’ve seen so far. Google Alerts and Spotback only search news results but both will email you results. Fletcher believes that Swamii’s search algorithms are superior to both but said that the most difficult parts in designing them was making sure that results filtered out unwanted items.
“Typical search engines deal with relevance by eliminating the ‘time’ factor,” Fletcher said via IM today. “The challenge with Swamii was actually focusing on the time factor (i.e. what’s new) but not giving too much irrelevant stuff – its a fine balance.”
Swamii went public on Wednesday and since then has had 1,500 user sign ups. Fletcher and his two partners self-funded the operation, which is headquartered in London.
The site is not dependent on banner ads for revenue, which is a good thing because their Amazon.com advertisement (on the screenshot below) has a bug which only advertised UK promos and pricing to me here in San Francisco. All other ads were geographically appropriate and search results are supposed to be location-based as well. Swamii also makes money if users purchase certain products that come up in their results.
Swamii was designed for the hobbiest searcher but the company also designed Swamii Business for more serious monitoring.
As far as I can tell, there is just one thing that is missing from Swamii that would make it more comprehensive and decidedly Web 2.0. That one thing is the social element. I only see what is being published online but there is no recommendation of what else I should read or see from others with similar interests. But then again, if the Swamii knows everything, why would I need that?