TCU Daily Skiff Tueday, April 13, 2004
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Student launches new Internet search engine
A senior will start, a new Internet search engine that appeals to a Web-savvy crowd.

By Ferrell Fields
Staff Reporter

Internet users tired of looking on the same search engines will have the opportunity to broaden their search options when launches Thursday.

Blake Rhodes, a senior communications major, teamed up a year ago with friends, Andrew English and Donny Plunkett, to design a new search engine that would be more appealing to the eye.

“Over the summer, I came up with the idea that I wanted to create a fun search engine that would be more accessible for people our age,” Rhodes said. “In a time where people are always in a hurry, a meta search engine saves people time from searching several different sites.”

The reason it will save people time is because it will search from seven different engines in the same amount of time, Rhodes said. The seven engines will include Google, Yahoo, Altavista, AlltheWeb, Teoma, About and Looksmart.

Rhodes worked with a branding company that helped pick the name, IceRocket, partly because it was much cheaper than paying $25,000 to register its own name on the Internet, he said.

“The word ice has several different meanings in my eyes so we chose that name to make it the next big search engine,” Rhodes said.

IceRocket’s design, which includes a blasting rocket on a bright blue background, is meant to target a younger market of Web users who is currently under served, Plunkett said.

Rhodes said he thinks IceRocket is edgier than Yahoo or Google because the page design caters to the demographics, which will mostly be younger people.

The design and accessibility will make this search engine different from others, Plunkett said.

Plunkett said his e-mail address and phone number will be on the contact page so users and media outlets will have direct access to him if they have a problem.
The Web site will also feature a “site of the day.”

“Every day I will choose a fun, cool site that our generation will like, and maybe a site that is not easily found on the Web,” Rhodes said. “This will entice users to return after their initial search.”

Rhodes would not comment on any of the finances involved, but said it’s very expensive.

The expensive part is buying servers, which can cost several thousand dollars a month, to host the site, because users will be requesting information rather than just reading text, Rhodes said.

As far as educational purposes go, TCU students will benefit from IceRocket because it will be the absolute best search engine available to them, Rhodes said.

“We are taking the absolute best results from the top search engines and comparing them to one another, then ranking them again, and returning them to our users all in under a second,” Rhodes said.

Kimberly Friesen, a senior communication studies major, said she is looking forward to a new site targeted to a younger audience.

“I always have to search different sites to get the best results, but IceRocket will probably cut down on how many sites I have to search,” Friesen said.

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