Former Technorati master to start guidebook series

Ever used Technorati? It’s a slick little blog searcher that scours over 100 million blogs for articles like the stuff you read here on Gadling. It was founded by a fella named Dave Sifry and is a highly awarded web site and search engine.

Yeah yeah, another search engine, you say. Well what makes it sweet is that it’s made using open source software, similar to Linux or Ubuntu or OpenOffice. With none of that licensing and litigation crap that Microsoft and Apple have to weave around, the software is cleaner and more efficient.

Enough of my own opinion though– since his departure from Technorati, Sifry has moved on from the blogosphere into the travel guidebook realm. And he’s taken the open source roots from his former business into his new venture: Offbeat Guides.

The trick behind Offbeat Guides is that it takes open source data from all over the web, Wikitravel, Flickr, Google Maps and other user generated data and puts it into a form factor (in either PDF or bound, sent to your door) that is tailored to your use. You can pick areas or activities that you like, thus cutting down on all of the superfluous data that you don’t need, like Rick Steve’s favorite two star hotel in Kalamazoo. Result? Cleaner, more efficient guidebook.

Sounds pretty neat, but if you’re going to spend the time putting together a guide like this, why don’t you just make a frankenguide?

Offbeat Guides, proper, is still in the invite-only beat (read: super secret — don’t you want in?) phase, but you can sign up for an invite on their site.