School of Information Sciences

Digital Libraries Colloquium Series

Sponsored by the School of Computer Science-Carnegie Mellon University, the School of Information Sciences-University of Pittsburgh, the University Library System-University of Pittsburgh, the University Libraries-Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Mike Richwalsky

Manager of Web Services at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA

Wednesday, November 8
12:00 noon-1:00 pm
1305 Newell Simon Hall, Carnegie Mellon University

"Gnosh: Meta-search in the liberal arts, libraries and beyond"

Abstract: It goes by many names: Web 2.0, the social web, and the semantic web. Call it what you will, but the web of today is dramatically different then the web of two years ago. With the rise of blogs, social networking, podcasts and more the web is shifting to a more user-centric model, where regular users are the content creators and the contributors. The web today is about forming communities and sharing expertise. With new sites like Flickr, MySpace and Digg and tools like and Newsvine comes the need to search and organize all the various forms of information and media into a usable form and more importantly, make it user-friendly. 

Enter meta-search tools. They do the heavy lifting of gathering relevant data from across the web and organizing it into easy-to-digest chunks. Staff and students at Allegheny College developed one such engine, Gnosh, which is quickly gaining users around the world. What started as a fun, after hours project has developed into a fledgling company that is developing new search tools including a federated search tool for libraries.

Mike Richwalsky, creator of Gnosh and Manager of Web Services at Allegheny College, will speak about the genesis, development and growth of Gnosh as well as its impact on libraries and the web ( and Web 2.0) in general.

Bio: Mike Richwalsky is the Manager of Web Services at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. Since 2002, he has led Allegheny into the forefront of colleges and universities using new technologies including RSS, podcasts, MySpace and more. He is also the creator of the award-winning meta-search engine, Gnosh where he serves as Gnosh’s President and CEO.

Mike received his B.A. from Duquesne University, where he developed the University’s website, web-based applications and was the main technical support liaison for faculty using WebCT. He has also led development and design efforts at Stargate and Fishtank Creative.

In addition to his work at Allegheny, Mike recently served as chair of the Web and Technology Track of HigherEd BlogCon, an online conference presented by Thomson Peterson's, PRNewsWire, ProfNet, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He presented at the Spring 2006 task force meeting of CNI, and is involved with the social software user group sponsored by the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE).

Mike has been featured in recent articles in the Christian Science Monitor, University Business magazine and the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog.  He has won several local and national awards, including a 2003 Erie Ad Club award for Allegheny's Centerstage Series email campaign. His previous awards include a Macromedia national site of the day award, a Yahoo! Pick of the Day award and several Erie Ad Club awards.  Most recently, he Gnosh poster was named “Best Poster Session” at HighEdWebDev 2005.


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