What is PeARS?
PeARS is an open source project which aims at putting Web search and Web indexing in the hands of the people.
What is a pod?
A PeARS pod is a searchable index of Web pages. Anybody with a tiny bit of technical knowledge can create a pod to share the best sites they know on a particular topic. The page you are visiting now, for instance, is an awesome pod on [topic]. If you run the PeARS software on your machine, you can download the whole of a pod's data for private searching.