Yesterday Google announced a Chrome extension that allows you to create a personal block list of Web site URLs. The idea is to reduce spam in search results by letting users block sites from their personal search results. The extension also sends this information to Google so that they can crowdsource their search spam efforts. But what if you want to do this Firefox or Internet Explorer? Or on Yahoo! or Bing? Kynetx to the rescue!
When we saw the Google extension we thought "great idea" but we can do better with KRL. KRL is a language that lets you build extension functionality like this in the cloud and then easily deploy it to Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. For our purposes, think of it as "GreaseMonkey in the Cloud." Easily updatable, runs anywhere, and quick to build and deploy.
We put out a call on Twitter for the KRL developer community to replicate this functionality in KRL in 24 our less. We had several people working. Ed Orcutt of Lobos LLC met the challenge first.
Ed's PersonalBlock provides a "Block this site" link next to every result, a link at the bottom indicating that there are hidden sites, and a chance to reveal (and unblock) them. You can block a site on Google and it will also be blocked on Yahoo! or Bing. Unblock a site on Bing and it will be unblocked on Yahoo! and Google. The functionality works for all search engines and in all browsers. I have to admit when I tried this out this morning, I was a little giddy that it worked so well and was so easy to do.
Find out how build cool extensions like this at the Kynetx Impact conference on March 22 and 23, 2011.
Here's a video showing PersonalBlock in action:
We're not sharing the blocked domains with Google and other search engines. If we did, that would be completely anonymized and aggregated. Doing that from a Kynetx app would be trivial, by the way.
There is coverage of PersonalBlock on ReadWriteWeb as well.
If you're interested in the source code, here's the Gist.