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OneRiot Tracks 'Today's' Web

OneRiot
Click on the graphic for a larger view of OneRiot

Sure, Google rules when it comes to most popular search engine, but do you want the most "relevant" search results or the latest? OneRiot.com leans toward the latter.

The site officially debuted Wednesday after offering a pre-release version under the name Me.dium since July. OneRiot is one of several companies leveraging Yahoo's Build Your Own Search Service (BOSS) that makes the Internet giant's search index infrastructure available for others to build custom search services on top of

Since launching Me.dium, the Boulder, Colorado-based company has decided to pare back on some its features, like the ability to surf the Web with friends, to focus on what proved to be the most popular aspect of its service with users – social search. "We decided as a company to do one thing well and it was pretty obvious that was search, Kimball Musk, CEO of OneRiot, told InternetNews.com.

"We're not here to replace Google or Yahoo. We're here to give access to the pulse of Web," he added.

Unlike traditional search engines that organize information and results based on relevancy and ranking, OneRiot said it prioritizes based on the current popularity of results in its community of users.

So, for example, a recent search on "Obama" at Google presents the official Barack Obama Web site and the president-elect's Wikipedia page among its top results. A Yahoo search presents similar results though the top results, includes Obama-related news headlines.

A OneRiot search on "Obama" presents three very different news stories from Yahoo, the BBC and AOL, followed by an Obama-related YouTube clip and Flickr photostream. The more popular results gain one of three labels: Emerging, Surging or Raging for the most activity.

Musk also draws a distinction between OneRiot and Google News. "It (Google News) tells you the news that's out there, but it's not a good way to tell what people are reading," said Musk. In the Obama example, OneRiot results are influenced more directly by what search site's community is finding rather than giving more weight or rank to popular media outlets.

Over two million people have downloaded the original Me.dium toolbar, which tracks search results. Users can choose whether to participate and Musk said results are aggregated and remain anonymous.

As for the unusual name, Musk said he grabbed the URL OneRiot.com after a band of the same name let it go. "I think it reflects the energy of the crowd," he said. "What's pulsing out there on the Web."