New Kiwi search site chooses Linux

A new Kiwi-only Web directory has been launched - which runs on the freeware Linux operating system. The site, www.utopia.co.nz, created by Auckland-based Internet services consultants Baxter Innovations, uses Web crawler developed in-house.

A new Kiwi-only Web directory has been launched — which runs on the freeware Linux operating system.

The site, www.utopia.co.nz, created by Auckland-based Internet services consultants Baxter Innovations, joins www.accessnz.co.nz, www.searchnz.co.nz and the recently created yahoo.co.nz site.

Managing director Michael Baxter says Utopia’s Internet directory contains more than 6500 local Web sites in more than 500 different categories and is adding sites daily. He says the site, which took about 12 months to develop, has a search engine which produces category-based results within the New Zealand environment only.

“We use a Web crawler we developed ourselves that goes through the New Zealand domain structure and looks for new names. A client-server application then keeps record of the sites. It can go through, package them up, move them around between categories and publish them online.

“With many of the bigger search engines you find that a lot of companies register about six different domain names which all point to the same site. We have not duplicated like that, so our index is more specific.”

The directory runs “very fast” on the open source Unix operating system Linux. “In fact I’ve had comments about the performance of the set-up,” he says.

For now the site has no advertising but Baxter hopes this will change by the end of the year and is looking at banners which users can click to buy a product immediately. He says they are also trying to use a mechanism to target advertising based on the geographical location of the ISP people are using.

Other promised services include virtual hosting, ISP listings and prices, and classified advertisements. Baxter says new channels will be added each month with upcoming channels including news, weather, sports, Web-based discussion groups, surveys and online shopping.

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