It is vital now. How it happens matters.
About search from the notebook of Adam Gordon, CEO, Plumb.one.
The web and digital tech today
The web is at least 5.7 billion pages already and, depending on who you ask, every day there are more; between 25,000 and 721,000. About 56 million pages. Give or take.
Much of the current human conversation is happening digitally and a high percentage of humanity’s collected wisdom and history is has been recorded digitally and is available over the internet.
Digital technologies have been woven into our lives to such an extent that, for most of us, just living life without them is inordinately difficult. Bordering on impossible.
And the internet is growing an entirely new technological arm, Blockchain URLS (BCURLS). Unstoppable Domains is already selling BCURLS like mad. We don’t know what these will be used for yet, but we know they will be used.
It’s all pretty much a brick without search.
Think about what you would have done today if you couldn’t search. No Google, no Alexa, no Siri, no DuckDuckGo (DDG), Bing or Baidu…no search. Most of us have become so used to the ubiquity of search that it has blended into the background of our lives.
Daresay that most of us are almost as dependent on search as we are on air. It’s not just useful, it’s vital. We make lots of decisions, every day, based on what we find on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs in technical speak). We shop, invest, teach, believe, parent, make medical decisions (and lots more) based on what we find.
That’s why getting SERPs that are free of bias is so important. Big Search has a bias and it changes your results based on that. What if there are things we’re just not seeing just because it’s not in Big Search’s best interest?
In the few weeks since we launched Plumb there have been many reports of people finding things they couldn't find anywhere else. We have our own way of doing things and our own index, so we can show you more of what’s out there.
That’s why Independent Search is a fundamental need of digital life. As internet searchers you need to see a broader set of results untainted by anyone’s interests but your own.
We are building Plumb to reflect a few of the realities of today’s internet.
What are those?
First, there is a huge and growing demand for search. It’s almost infinite. Today, 20 MAR 21, at 8pm PDT, there were 6.5 billion searches. And that number is likely very low. Voice search or searches on specialized search engines, such as Lexis-Nexis are not included in it.
If we look at something with this kind of demand from a purely financial standpoint, what do you charge for something with infinite demand?
Straight capitalism says that anything so demanded can garner any price.
And that’s true. That IS what’s happening. We are paying for it with our lives, with our privacy, and what Shohana Zuboff calls “our right to a future tense.” And we’ll continue to unless something changes.
What if, instead of straight capitalism, we approach this from what is now being called “conscious capitalism”? What if, for something that has infinite demand, one simply charges less? The demand is still infinite. Providing a service for something that happens 6.7 billion times a day need not cost us our digital sovereignty.
That is the reason we have started Plumb. We believe that search is a fundamental right of every digital citizen and that the costs for it need not be quite so high.
We call it Independent Search. Search that lets you be independent.
You get great results without being followed or surveilled. Results from deeper on the internet. You’ll see more of what’s out there and stay completely private at the same time. That’s why we say, “Stay safe. See more.”
We are building the search company that we think most people want.* Today Plumb is free to use and our mobile apps are coming. We believe that most people would rather pay a small monthly subscription for search than with the rest of their data for the rest of their lives.
We’re betting the company on it.
We think most people want a search engine that:
- Is unbiased and unfiltered so that you can see more of what’s out there.
- Gives you broader results from further around the web.
- Let’s you stay private and not be tracked.
- Is as open and transparent as prudent business allows.
- Is respectful of you as our customers (see our Declaration of Digital Independence)
- Is working to reduce the carbon footprint of search.
- Frees you from surveillance capitalism.
Independent search for independent people.