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Too Many New Search Services and other innovations

OK, I am officially overwhelmed, well maybe just whelmed, about how to keep track of the new search services.
First it was Cuil and that at first seemed so dumb so it was easy to ignore. I went back recently and they offer better facets and the results for my standard searches were pretty good. At first I thought their index was toooooo big but it seems that they’ve improved.
Then it was a few new ones recently that are worth paying attention to.
Wolfram: Alpha, Bing and Google Squared.
I am not totally up to speed yet but I like some features in all three.
The Disruptive Library Technology Jester blog’s comparison Alpha Bing Squared screencast is available on YouTube:
DLTJ Alpha Bing Squared screencast
If you’re more into text, the blog posting is good too:
Three New Search Services: Wolfram|Alpha, Microsoft Bing, Google Squared
The Google Squared launch was also covered well by Search Engine Land.
Steve Arnold at Beyond Search covered Google Wave (Yep another innovation) here. He thinks it was rushed out to blunt the impact of Bing on Google.
Webware’s review of Google Wave is a little longer but contains an interesting debate about writing and communication on the web.
From my personal perspective I have to say I am impressed with Bing. I like that it intuits where I am when I type ‘weather’. It knew Toronto’s weather when I am here but it knew Jacksonville on Thursday night too from the same laptop. Google didn’t. I find Wolfram: Alpha to be hit and miss but when it hits it’s amazing. Google Squared shows some potential and reminded me of mindmaps. It might be a good search planning aide.
Either way, I think we’ll see some poaching of the best ideas from each as user take up causes migration and steal-this-idea innovation. Can Google defend its front runner status? Can anyone take the lead? Since it’s not an election year, this might be the horse race to watch.
I’m just happy to see that things we’ve been offering in SirsiDynix OPACs for a year or two are now making it into the mainstream search space. I love faceted search, tri-grams, fuzzy logic, etc. Of course, if you’re just trying to make search better and not kowtowing to the SEO and display ad buying gods, you can work on making a better search experience. Now that folks can see some of this innovation in the consumer space, maybe they’ll choose to add it to their library experience offerings.
I’ll be talking about some of this in our booth at ALA in Chicago in July in our presentation theatre. Drop by.
Stephen

Posted on: June 22, 2009, 8:38 am Category: Uncategorized

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