A Searchbot is your own personal search robot that continuously searches the Internet trying to find all the best websites it can on your behalf. When you build a Searchbot you give it a personality and then program it's search circuits with all the things you want to find. You can search for websites based on factual information like tags and locations, or more creative ways like colour and the mood you're in. You can even ask your Searchbot a question and it will talk to other Searchbots to find you an answer.
Searchbots.net is an experimental search engine that investigates the use of mythology, personification and game theory as motivational strategies in creating a sustainable search community. Searchbots has a rich history and is unique in that it allows you to search using more "human" and entertaining types of information like colour and mood. If you picked the colour red you might get a website about tomatoes, communism or angry people.
Mark & Bruno in their Searchbots tees.
Mark Zeman is a Lecturer and Subject Director in Digital Media at Massey University. Mark's research interests lie in the impact new Internet technology has on the collaboration between groups of people and the information they exchange. This research manifests in a wide variety of projects that cover diverse topics such as performance spaces, search engines, game theory, mapping and models of "trust".
If you have any questions about Searchbots check out the forum or email Mark.
Searchbots was originally launched in 1999 by Morse Media as a way of showcasing Macromedia's Flash Generator and over 30,000 personalised Searchbots were built. The project proved to be unsustainable and has been under redevelopment for the last three years as a research project. Back then big Flash introductions were de rigueur and Matt Trott did his best to please the crowds. Searchbots was also featured in the UK on a technology television channel.