Home Dorthy.com: A (Semantic) Search Engine for Dreams

Dorthy.com: A (Semantic) Search Engine for Dreams

Dorthy.com, a site we’ve been hearing about since late last year, has just raised $4 million from angel investors for their “new agey” concept of a search engine for dreams. Currently in private alpha, the site makes fluffy claims about how they’re “reversing the traditional search process, continuously filtering and focusing the Universe of online content, to connect you with the best stuff around your interests and aspirations.”

If you’re not clear on what exactly that means, don’t feel bad… but don’t write them off either. Instead, think of Dorthy.com as a new take on the old 43Things, the site which encourages users to list goals, share progress, and cheer each other on. Dorthy does the same but gets you there by making interesting use of Web 3.0 technologies like AI and natural language search.

Semantic Search for Dreams

According to Jim Anderson, the About.com co-founder who was hired as Dorthy’s CTO earlier this year, the site’s search engine doesn’t use keyword-based search but rather has the user enter a fully formed question, statement, or phrase like “run a marathon in 4 hours.” Not only does the search engine parse the semantics of your input using its proprietary algorithms, it also learns from you, incrementally enhancing your results upon every visit.

As an example, Anderson describes how a fictional user named Jennifer might search for information about a trip to Paris. Because Jennifer had previously shared other background information like the fact that she’s an avid marathon runner, fluent in French, wants to learn to cook French food, and hates cruises, Dorthy.com will retrieve specific information related to those interests. The results would be filtered to highlight info on cooking schools, shopping, and popular running routes in Paris – things that would be interesting to Jennifer specifically.

This example doesn’t even necessarily count as a “dream,” it seems – you could plan an actual trip to Paris using Dorthy’s technology, too. However, the overall point of the service is to provide you with information about a particular goal or aspiration and then connect you with others who feel the same.

Using Dorthy

When performing searches on Dorthy, you’ll have the option to create your own page on a specific topic or view the topic pages others have already created. These pages feature popular articles, videos, photos, and blog entries from the web and are constantly being updated with new content. When you find content you like, even if it’s on someone else’s page, you can easily copy it over to a page of your own.

After this initial “discovery” process is complete, you can use Dorthy’s “Connect” feature to meet others also interested in your topic so you can share your progress and encourage each other, much like how the above-mentioned 43Things operates.

In the future, Dorthy hopes to expand their offering to go beyond simply being a consumer-targeted Web-based service to one that could benefit the enterprise (think “I want to go to a virtualization conference in Las Vegas”), or so reported eWeek earlier this year. They also plan on moving to mobile at some point, too.

At the moment, Dorthy.com is in private alpha, but you can sign up to join here.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.