Mahalo is unveiling its new site design at the Future of Web Apps conference in London today, and Jason Calacanis is proud of one new feature in particular: A liveblog/newsfeed maintained by his employees, who will provide updates of… anything interesting, as soon as they hear about it. And Jason has installed a webcam so you can watch his employees as they scour the Web and update the site in real time.
This sounds like fairly miserable work to us, but who knows? Maybe it will have the same kind of buzzy thrill that we hear newsrooms were supposed to generate in the olden times.
And since Mahalo’s “human-powered search engine” model works by employing people to update search result pages anyway (they’ve created about 100,000), the news feed sounds like a natural evolution.
So how’s Mahalo itself doing? Jason says the site hit a record of 4.6 million uniques in August, but that revenue is still negligible. He says he wants to build the site’s traffic to 10-15 million uniques before loading it up with ads. But what about the impending startup collapse he has predicted? Shouldn’t he be trying to generate revenue right now? Not a problem, Jason says: The $20 million he’s raised in two rounds should last him four years.