Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Searching, a fresh perspective

This post is completely off topic but I hope some find it interesting.

I was recently clued into a new(ish) search engine via Twitter (thanks @starfocus) and wanted to share some thoughts about the refreshing approach being taken when it comes to finding things on the Interwebs.

Let me clarify here, I’m not calling this site a ‘Google Killers’, far from it. Google could do something like these or they could just buy them. What’s exciting, I think is that this search engine brings some very innovative and arguably long overdue approaches to the table. We take searching for granted because Google for the most part has defined or at least re-defined how we think about searching for things on the web. I’m not so sure a little creative competition won’t do everyone some good.

The purpose of a search engine is to find what we are looking for on the web, right? Well Google and all the other search engines do that pretty well already so where can things be improved? I think there are really three areas; presentation, organization and sharing.
So let’s have a look at www.searchme.com

Presentation: Searchme: offers a strangely familiar (iTunes or Vista Aero anyone? ) display of your search results. You can view a thumbnail preview of each website before you click on it. There is a scroll bar at the bottom to advance further into the results and for those of us that still want (or need) our search results to be in text, you can open up a text results window. The feature that I think stands out here is the autoplay option when searching for videos. You can get a quick thumbnail preview of any video results you search yields.

Organization: Enter ‘stacks’! This is my favorite feature of searchme:. If you are anything like me you are hitting lots of pages when researching something on the web. You probably have 15 tabs open in FireFox and it doesn’t take long before you are disorganized. Stacks let you literally ‘toss’ or drag and drop various pages into a working or saved ‘stack’. You can then save that stack for later or delete it when you have finished with it. This is a great feature; sorry bookmarking just doesn’t cut it anymore. Oh, and if you close your browser, the stacks stay.

Sharing: Web 2.0 is this year’s buzzword so I guess we can only expect search engines to jump on that bandwagon too. The sharing tools in searchme: are up to par with what you’d expect these days. You can take a saved ‘stack’ and share it using traditional email or use a variety of social bookmarking services and throw it out on Digg or Facebook, you know the drill. It’s nice to have this feature baked into the search though so you don't need a 3rd party solution.

All and all I’m pretty impressed. I’m not really sure about their business model yet and there isn’t much information in about us. There isn't really any advertising either. I still plan to use Google though: D

That’s it for this one! Send your comments!

1 comment:

David Zeidman said...

Thanks for pointing that site out. I am not sure how good the searches are but it is certainly a very aesthetically pleasing site. I like the idea of the stacks too.

David