I was at the Alternative Search Engines Day event in San Francisco last week. Organized by Charles Knight of the Alt Search Engines blog (and friends), it brought together key people from over 40 alternative search engines. It was an amazing crowd, full of interesting and bright people, and the overall energy was incredible!
At the keynote, Charles gave a pitch for bringing ASEs together that was very well received. He showed us some examples of what a unified User Interface that combined multiple search engines would look like. I contributed a tiny bit (expanding on the idea that complementary ASEs could band together to provide Federated Searches for enhanced traffic and usability, and listing a few ways for the Alts to cooperate even while competing ).