Paul Kedrosky writes about the launch of a new search engine:
In essence Vast is a classifieds vertical search service — but one with an important twist. Before getting to the twist, however, you need to know the context and scope. Vast is big, really really big. The folks there argue that it is the biggest search service for cars, and one of the biggest for the other categories it currently searches (jobs and people).
Whatever your views on search size, Naval & Co. have an interesting and big “What to do with it” idea. They are encouraging you (yes you) to steal it. Take it. Use their data. Freely. Want API-level access to the biggest classifieds search set on the Internet? It’s all yours. Just sign up for a Vast API key and bang away (via a REST-ful interface) up to 50,000 times a day. If you want any more than that then Vast’s developer text politely asks that you contact them so they can “provision the site accordingly”.
That’s a fascinating idea, especially given that Vast makes its data available for both commercial and non-commercial uses. About the only thing you can’t do with it is create your own crawler or spider. So what does that leave? Anything, from advanced analytics, to data repackaging, to grand-scale mashups — it’s all yours.