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Seeks, a collaborative search engine

January 25th 2011, for immediate release

When will social networks mix with search on the Internet ? Emmanuel Benazera, a computer scientist, offers an answer with the Seeks project. Facing the inertia of conventional search engines to develop useful social technical solutions, he decided to give it a try, utterly convinced that advertising-based business models would prevent conventional engines to radically invest into social search. To do so, Seeks goes back to the architectural roots of the Internet to make search a decentralized collaborative effort and experience.

Everyone's search should benefit all other searchers. This is the root of collaborative searching, that aims at gathering users' search experience within the result page. In practice, given the query "buy a computer", pertinent searches already conducted by other searchers would help ranking the results. In other words, it comes to add up the experience of many users in order to regain control over proprietary algorithms that lack transparency.

Such a system requires a P2P network to enable the sharing of data usually dispatched and captured only by proprietary servers. Seeks gives everyone the ability to benefit from his own search agent, a crucially missing piece of software today. Downloading and installing Seeks allows personal conservation and management of private search history, along with participation in a collaborative sharing of queries and data run by users for users.

FSF France [1] supports the Seeks project and has donated 15 000 euros to its founder, Emmanuel Benazera: a reduced dependency upon giant corporations as well as an improved control of technology by users themselves are compatible with the free software philosophy.

Seeks [2] already offers to users a free software meta-search engine (under AGPLv3 license) that ranks and reports results from conventional search engines. The project's website [3] makes the search software available, with documentation, installation tutorials, plugins, as well asa continuous report on the ongoing development of the project.


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About Free Software Foundation France

The FSF France ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to all aspects of Free Software. Access to software determines who may participate in a digital society. Therefore the freedoms to use, copy, modify and redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition - allow equal participation in the information age. Creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues of the FSF France.

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