Blended Technologies announced on Monday a new browse engine for all kinds of people looking for freelance gigs. The new site, GigBayes, is available at
http://www.gigbayes.com/. Why am I calling it a “browse engine” and not a “search engine”? More about that in a minute.
This site is EXTENSIVE. It basically pulls gig listings from all the US Craigslists plus other places like RentACoder and elance. And then it lists them. And while you can narrow down your search results by radius from a zip code, you can’t do a keyword search. You have to browse. And because of that you’ll see everything from design jobs to programming jobs to babysitter to a dude in Santa Barbara who needs someone to feed his pet snake while he’s out of town. (And that’s why I call it a browse engine instead of a search engine.)
While this is all sociologically very interesting, what does it have to do with finding a gig? GigBayes learns as you use it. If you follow links or click on the stars beside listings, GigBayes will learn what you’re looking for an attempt to narrow down the listings for results that are only relevant to you. As the ads refresh, you can hold your mouse over the blue i with each listing to get an idea why GigBayes held it aside for you.
I started going through the gigs and clicking on housecleaning jobs and truck driving jobs. By the time I’d clicked about a dozen jobs the gig listings started narrowing down. By the time I’d clicked 30 or so jobs (I clicked the stars, I didn’t follow the links) I was getting gigs that were somewhat consistent. Not just for housecleaning and truck driving however, I was also getting ads for moving,
yard work, and for some reason modeling. (And very occasionally actual programming jobs, though not many of those.) I’m sure if I had kept on clicking stars the jobs would have narrowed down even further.
You can use the site without registering, but if you want to save your clicks you’ll have to create an account. I can see this could be useful to someone who was looking for gigs on a regular basis but who was having trouble figuring out just the right keywords to find what they were looking for.
A couple of caveats. First make sure that you really want to click the star on a gig listing. I thought the star could be toggled — that is, that you could click it or unclick it. But then I tired and I couldn’t unclick it. As far as I can tell when you click on it STAYS clicked — make sure you don’t click on anything accidentally!
Second, GigBayes pulls information from ALL of Craigslist. ALL of Craigslist. Even the hem-hem parts. So there will be some ads in here that you may find objectionable. Keep that in mind. (Actually it would be useful if you could specify, not only for these types of ads but others, when you find an ad that is completely not what you’re looking for, so you’d have another option for winnowing out the chaff.)
Worked a lot better than I thought it might. Worth a look!