I think I may have fallen down the Koala hole. Okay, the Koala Quest hole.
Kaolaquest.com is self- defined as The World’s Fuzziest Search Engine and I stumbled over it while reading an article which referenced the website. This was so similar in the way the enjoyable Quora.com dropped into my lap; I needed to explore this newly discovered Koala territory.
Well, this is not your grandfather’s search engine. (Actually, your grandfather may never have even used a search engine, but I digress.)
The home page has a standard search bar. Off to the right is a cartoonish, robed Koala Bear hovering on a spacecraft holding a long stick. I feel Yoda vibes.
My first search, “Biltmore Estate,” was a bust. It only picked up the word “estate”, so there were many financial-related hits. There was not even a tiny reference to the Biltmore Estate. Hmmm.
I tried again with a pop culture reference. I searched for Bruno Mars, one of the most popular singers in the galaxy, and the title results included:
- “How To Grow Vegetables on Mars”
- “NASA’s Perseverance Will Look For Alien Fossils by Beaming X-Rays at Mars.”
The closet I got was “The Voice of Solar System Planets.”
This selective focus piqued my curiosity. How could it miss Bruno + Mars?
This time I used Google to search Koala Quest (very meta of me) and found its secret on the writing site Medium.
Philip S. Naudus is the creator. His bio states:
“High school teacher by day, koala by night. Founder of Koala Quest. My wife is a cartoonist with a Ph.D., and she co-authors all of these articles.”
Then I found the “why” by reading one of those articles and it all came together. Koala Quest is about providing quality content in order to spark creativity in writing. It’s not about selling products or images or gossip sites. The Medium article’s title was “20,000+ Article Ideas on Creativity, Business, History, Science, Culture, Psychology, and Writing. Say goodbye to writer’s block. Forever.”
This was the reason I shared it here.
Naudus asks “… have you ever tried doing a Google search for “interesting topics to write about?”
“So has every blogger on the planet,” he continues.
“There’s a better way to find an insane number of high-quality ideas. It’s called Koala Quest. Every 24 hours, the Koalabot adds nearly a thousand fresh ideas to its database.”
The returns I saw with my random searches included articles from respected sites such as NPR.com, NYTimes.com and livescience.com. There were a few YouTube and IMDb results. The page is clean of ads “disguised” as articles. There is no gobbledygook. Each result lies within a 2-inch size rectangular box with a photo. I love the simplicity of the layout. I learned its algorithm is primarily searching for links and hashtags shared on social media. This is another marketing tip for writers. Share! Share! Share! Use hashtags too.
Naudus is the first to admit that “it is a work in progress” but I applaud the efforts of these two entrepreneurs. Maybe they hope that a giant search engine will scoop up the Koala someday. For now, their unique parameters remove the user from the typical search experience. Nothing is jockeying for the top spot on the page. It’s refreshing… and fun. I felt like I’m on the ground floor where my searches will actually help build the site.
Although the Yoda Koala stands tall on their home page, it’s the only place to see the cartoon work of Linda Naudus. Her work accompanies every Naudus article on Medium. For humorous pieces titled “I’m a Nigerian Prince and I’m Shocked at How Hard It Is To Give Money Away”, and “File Your Taxes For FREE! No Strings Attached” *, here is some of her work. I find their Medium humor very close to The Onion satire.
We still need to address the eleph….Koala in the room. Why develop a brand with a Koala?
Naudus explains “Although this is anecdotal evidence, I have written funny historical pieces without cute images and they don’t perform nearly as well as the ones with cute/funny images.” He’s referring to his Medium articles, but why insert the Koala into a search engine? I suppose the answer is “why not?” but the details are fuzzy.
I want to add that you don’t have to be a writer to benefit from the site’s growing database of interesting facts, in-depth content and silly humor. You only need to be curious.
It works too. My writer’s block disappeared the minute I realized I could write about… Koala Quest.
A typical reader after exploring creative ideas on the site: