search – or share?

My old stalwart meta-search tool Copernic (v useful as it seems to search just abbout everything except Google) has launched a desktop search tool… I’m downloading now to see what’s what.

The Google Desksearch tool seems to find things that Blinkx misses – but is focussed on MS’ internet Explorer & Outlook – and I don’t really use either – so no matter how smart Google’s searching it’ll always miss webbpages I’ve visited & documents received bby email. Pity.

And all three of these tools rely on careful ranking of existing materials… but should search be ‘specific’ or ‘suggestive’ – I like the way that Last FM uses its network of listeners to play me music similar to my own profile. There are times when ‘suggestive’ search like that would be just fine. I’m trying Furl & Backflip to see if they do provide useful expansions on my webb searches.

Instinct says that the networked community-based product will be most useful.

new developments

Clusty is a development of Vivisimo (ibid) that clusters results – much in the useful way that Northern Light did when it was a free, public service.

Blinkx is a nigfty download that searches both your computer and the web. Though it’s blindingly fast – results appear as I type – it’s still not accurate enough. My benchmark on that’s google: Blinkx isn’t yet finding hard drive content that google would find, if it were able. One to keep an eye on though.

amazon’s A9

In spite of a few smutty gliches around launch, A9 is genuinely useful – in effect offering to present results from multiple categories on a single screen. So a vanity search  turns up text results for Rowan County in the USA, trees amongst the images, and books (yipee 😉 if you click the Books tab.

A nice piece of design that integrates results by type – and still decently quick.

search, now & future

17 May 2004 

Microsoft Focuses on Research. Recognizing that computing is about more than creating work documents, sending e-mail messages or putting a photo online, the software giant gears up to make the best tools for users to find things online. [Wired News]
It’s not going to happen in0.23 seconds… but there has to be a better way to present results than a simple text list. That way works well when the right results are close to the top of the list – and falls apart rapidly when they’re not.
And with luck the research will filter back into core ms products – where navigability is a continuing mystery tour.
8:28:18 PM    

05 May 2004

Google is my preferred search engine. Has been for years… but I’m getting restless.

First there were ideas on how to display results. Webmap was the first that I noticed. (now dead 🙁  It presented Google results graphically – as a map (duh!). Where Webmap was first to tread, others have followed.

Touchgraph produces a simple relational map – as does Grokker. I like the thinking behind Mapstan, which builds a profile of the pages you’ve visited, and maps related sites that may be of interest. Oops, no, that’s gone too. Investment tip for ’04 – think twice before putting money into searhc engines (unless they’re called Google.)

Kartoo is still around – better (faster) than ever. Free, and no download. Arguably the best of the graphics results search engines.

Lassoo allowed searchers to home in on a map to find services in their area. It was ahead of its time – which is not always a good thing. (yep, it’s gone too 🙁   But Google labs is trialling something similar.

Vivisimo still clusters results into folders (as Northern Light used to do, when it was a public search engine: it’s now an enterprise search service.).

Search the web on Vivisimo:

Yahoo AltaVista MSN Fast HotBot

Search TheCustomer on Vivisimo
… and on Google
Search WWW Search