thing 12: Rollyo

Blogcritics used Rollyo for a while a couple of years ago, and I was never happy with the search results or the way they were displayed. It could have been some setting that BC used, but I assumed it had more to do with the way Rollyo works.

When I was at Blogworld last fall, I chatted with the folks at the Lijit booth for a while and made a note to take a look at their product when I got home. Apparently so did Phillip Winn, the Blogcritics Chief Geek, because not long after, Lijit replaced Rollyo as the site’s search tool. It’s worked out well.

Rollyo’s web search is powered by Yahoo Search, so I can’t see why I would want to use it as a general search engine. I think that Rollyo’s best value is as a search engine that looks at a specific collection of websites. This might be handy in a library if you have, for example, a number of different digital collections being served up from different domains or subdomains. With a Rollyo (or similar) service, you could build a single search interface for them. That is, if you don’t mind sending your users to a site that mixes in six paid links for each page of ten results, in addition to side-bar advertisements.

3 thoughts on “thing 12: Rollyo”

  1. In theory, Rollyo does a bunch of awesome things, but in practice, it doesn’t do the one thing we need very well: simple site search. I suspect it’s great for smaller sites. Maybe.

  2. I’ve never been comfortable with search engines that are powered by other search engines. I never feel like I am getting the results I need. I am a ChaCha Guide and I tried using their search page (which is powered by Google) to provide answers, but I have better luck going straight to Google.

  3. Besides the front end functionality of any widget, is the question of the back end, how does the widget make its money, and of this revenue stream, what % is available for the actual Publisher?. Along with the ability to search data is the VALUE of this data. Who owns it? What about each individual blogger’s data and the critical sanctity of Publishers private statistics. We at P.U.B. consider the safety of the information any app or widget(s) may be gathering, unbeknownst to the unwitting Publisher who installs them.

    P.U.B. [Publishers Union of Bloggers] has pending inquires to Widget Providers concerning how they generate their income and what percentage of this income goes to the Blog Publisher making the critical decision to allow a Widget on their site for their readers. In addition we are requesting transparency on the critical issue of how the private statistic from Publishers Blogs are being used, hopefully with the Publisher’s permission!

    P.U.B. expected to hear back from Lijit on these financial and private statistics issues from P.U.B’s inquiry we sent to Lijit in mid April 2008. So far all we’ve read is a public blog response from a Lijit employee advising Lijit has no money, and more recently, we received an email from Lijit’s CEO, Todd Vernon, attacking P.U.B. and falsely accusing we are writing fictitious emails. Any actual answers to our questions about the use of Publisher’s stats, or revenue as it applies to Lijit? Nada. Nothing. P.U.B.’s job is to fight for Publishers by asking the hard questions and demanding answers. If all Widget companies respond as Lijit’s done up to this point, P.U.B. has a big workload for our Publishers, and your membership and support helps us all as Publishers, thanks.

    If P.U.B. gets a straight answer on topic from Lijit, not smoke and mirrors, we will let great Blog Publishers like you know their exact revenue/statistics use/sharing deal. Currently we are also working with Blog Publishers to track performance hit evaluations of Widgets, and the actual ownership of content pulled by widgets from our blogs.

    Will publish these results to keep the community of Blog Publishers informed on this critical component of Widgets on our Blogs.


    Barney Moran
    Founder, P.U.B.

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