About Bonzamate

Bonzamate is run in the public interest of Australians. The internet has become an essential service, and the window to it is controlled by a handful of search companies that have no allegiance to Australia and the Australian people.

In February 2021 the Australian Greens Party called for a publicly owned search engine to be created and be independent and accountable like the ABC. [1][2]

This was generally mocked by many Australians, including the media which had forced Google's hand by lobbying for the government to make Google and Facebook to pay for news content. [3]

Personally, I and others such as Matt Wells of Gigablast however believe that nationalised search is important. With so few indexes, the main ones being Google, Bing and Yandex, and the inability of meta-search engines to mix and match results from multiple indexes the question has to be asked, "What is Google NOT showing you today?".

However the question remains, could a search engine be implemented by an independent organisation? Previously this approach has failed with Quaero and Sputnik. However the use of private enterprise and publicly owned companies can produce excellent results, even in the search space.

I personally have some experience in this, having been one of the main developers at Kablamo who worked on the ABC's Archive which you can learn about here on youtube. You can skip to the exact point the CoDA search is demoed here. A perfect fusion of a publicly owned chartered organization and private enterprise bringing their own expertise.

It is belived that to build a general purpose search engine costs billions of dollars. However do you need billions of dollars to start? As such Bonzamate in the short term is an example of how someone in their spare time, without any public funding or VC can build a search engine that provides value.

Goals

Bonzamate while it runs will build and run its own index.

Bonzamate will only index Australian websites, meaning those with a .au web address. News is sourced from other sources, but only those with an Australian focus. It has an aggressive spam removal policy to keep quality high.

Because it is limited to Australian websites, this ensures only Australian content is ever surfaced.

It is designed to run as lean as possible, and yet be possible to scale should the need arise.

Technology

Bonzamate is interesting from a technical point of view because it is as far as known the first serverless search engine, running entirely on AWS Lambda inside the Sydney region of AWS, and secondly because like Bing it uses a bloom filter to control its index.

You can read more about it on my personal blog where I wrote about it extensively, Abusing AWS Lambda to make an Aussie Search Engine.