In the early days of the web, pages were made primarily by hobbyists, academics, and computer savvy people about subjects they were personally interested in. Later on, the web became saturated with commercial pages that overcrowded everything else. All the personalized websites are hidden among a pile of commercial pages.— Wiby Search Engine · wiby.me/about
The Wiby search engine is building a web of pages as it was in the earlier days of the internet. In addition, Wiby helps vintage computers to continue browsing the web, as pages indexed are more suitable for their performance.
And it’s literally that. Wiby is a vast collection of sites that were or look like they were built in 1999, but many of them are still maintained today.
Like most search engines, there’s a bunch of commands you can add to your searches to tweak results. Details on the settings page. For those that don’t really know what they are looking for, there’s a Surprise Me! option which takes you to a random site in the search index.
And if you wanted to use it as your default search, adding !g or !b to the start of your search will kick you over to Google or Bing.
I’ve found it useful to use a few times when wanting to explore the web and my commercial search engine of choice is just giving me results to the walled-gardens of Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, eBay, Reddit, etc.
Searching with Wiby is different:
- A search for the Funhouse pinball machine brought up some collectors websites and detailed guides of restoration.
- A search for the private cryptocurrency ‘Zcash’ brought up The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Online Anonymity which doesn’t rank in the first few pages for the same query on the big engines.
- This person who runs Android Arts seems to sketch out concepts for video game consoles, and now I want a Sega Cube.
- How about “the most complete set of information about goat milk” thanks to Everything Goat Milk?
I love it. All of it. I’m eager to donate to Wiby.
Wiby really makes me feel like there are people on the web still carving out their own hobbyist spaces – something which I thought was lost to the closed groups and subreddits of big corporate sites.
I might even set it as my default search engine.