Usually when I’m looking up for a specific quote or topic within the Baha’i writings I head to the “official” Reference Library at the world center. But there’s a new and improved website called BahaiResearch.com that has the same content, as well as writings from other religions and periphery content such as memoirs, pilgrims notes, etc.
Although the site is the work of Ian Vink and Runa Ali, it is hosted by USBNC.ORG (US Baha’i National Center web servers). And still the site is way too slow. Speed is extremely important for a search engine as it improves productivity and frequency of use.
It also supports 14 languages in total: most romance languages, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese and more. As well, new documents are being continuously added. The best part is that it features boolean searches. This means you can use OR AND NOT to zero in on what you want.
You can even download the whole thing and work offline. And we are told that there are “widgets” coming that would enable you to embed it on your website to allow people a portal to access it.
You might remember a while back we talked about majnun, a Baha’i search engine which basically filtered the web according to what… we don’t know. While majnun is simply a veiled exercise in censorship, Ian and Runa’s project is about disseminating knowledge openly.
BahaiResearch.com reminds me of Ocean, another similar tool (but it is only downloadable and has no online feature).
So take BahaiResearch.com for a spin and let Ian know what you think. He’s done a great job of not only designing a very easy to use application but one that has some real practical value.