Tim's ChaCha Search widget is a Firefox search tool created in November 2008 which piggybacks on a Google custom search that I designed. It weeds out a lot of the resources which are unusable for ChaCha, contain malware, or are full of popups. A partial list of filtered sites include Wikipedia, NationMaster, Answers.Yahoo.com, Vidipedia, Wickerpedia, Wikiality, qna.live.com, Answerbag, megarotic, Ampland, nisherel.xm.com, Smouch.net, Bubset, Bubbase, HomePoker, Phonetrace.org, About.com (gray), Ultimate-Guitar, and many more. As of 11/12/08, a total of 49 sites are filtered. You don't even need the widget -- the search link is at the bottom of this site.

The idea here is to make sure that the most important results for a ChaCha response bubble to the top. Being a Guide myself, I constantly update the filters so I'm not wasting unnecessary time!

How to install
This widget is for Firefox only! Click here to add the widget to your browser.

How to use it
In the Search Toolbar (to the right of your URL bar), just click the dropdown bar to pull up "ChaCha Search" illustrated by the cursive C. Type something in, like peanuts, and hit return. You'll immediately be taken to the Google results page without Wikipedia, Yahoo answers, and so forth clogging up the top results.

Tips and tricks
  • Contact me if you encounter a bad site that messes with your browser, gives you misleading results, or is gray enough to risk QC. We can all help one another! Pass along the URL (address) and any relevant details, and most likely it will get filtered within a couple of days. The fastest way to contact me is at my contact page.
  • I don't filter obscene or shock sites, primarily because there's too many of them and this project is intended to focus on being an information filter.
  • For maximum speed on Specialist searches, once the white window pops up and I see the question, I just type the keywords in the ChaCha Widget search bar (see below to find how to make it launch a new window) and then I dismiss the white window. While ChaCha churns away preparing the editor window, my results are already in another tab! I have been logging 20-second replies on simple medical queries!
  • Dealing with tab windows effectively. As we know, when a question comes in, ChaCha "steals" your attention and opens a new tab to find the answer. Guides traditionally deal with this in two ways: (A) wait for the Find Answer tab to load and start searching there, or (B) manually open a blank tab and do searches there. Do you like to do "B"? If so, here's a trick. Enter about:config in the URL bar. When the list of settings appears, look for browser.search.openintab, and right-click to set the value there to true. Now all further widget searches (including other widgets) will automatically open their own window, but only if you press [Enter] after entering your query. When doing this, do not click the magnifying glass or you'll pre-empt the current window! If you don't like the new behavior, you can always revert this change by repeating the steps above and choosing false instead.
  • Of course there are times we need to go to Wikipedia for preliminary investigative clues. This widget will in no way interfere with your ability to go there. Just don't use the widget for that particular search or choose the regular Google web search.

    How to remove this widget
    In Firefox, just choose the search toolbar dropdown, click Manage Search Engines, highlight ChaCha Search, and click Remove.

    About this widget
    I created this widget in November 2008 as I use Google religiously and with ChaCha I get sick of Wikipedia and answers.yahoo.com taking up the first 20 results. So I slapped together some code and created this toolbar application. This widget is FREE. If you like this widget and use it all the time, all I ask is that you email to say you like it (here's my contact page), tell your friends about it, or help me by telling me about any deceptive or blacklisted website that slows down your ability to formulate a ChaCha answer.

    I don't want to use the widget -- let me use Tim's garbage-free ChaCha search page

    Return to Tim's page