Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gaggle of Search Engines Update

In a previous post, I described a variety of search engines beyond Google. After some more time spent using them and after improvements on some of the sites, here's a quick update using one I kind of like, Searchme.com. (Move the little blue slider to see the other sites.


SearchmeView in searchme: full | lite
Comments after comparing results on a search for "accordance bibleworks logos."
  • One addition to the earlier list: Middlespot provides both a text and thumbnail view of site results, but what is interesting is that it lets you create a "workspace" to store a bunch of sites you want to investigate further. Page rendering is a bit jerky, but it's a decent idea. (Note that a similar effect is available in Searchme using 'stacks' and in Viewzi using the Power Grid view.)
  • Searchme Lite is, as you may guess, a lite version of Searchme that suggests categories as you begin typing your search.
  • As much as I like Searchme, it turns out that your stacks are stored in a Flash cache on your computer, and if you clear your cache... I discovered the issue the wrong way. They report they are working on fixing this problem.
  • Viewzi has added additional views. You now can choose between these views: Web Screenshot (using Yahoo results), Simple Text (using Alexa, Yahoo, Google), Power Grid (using Yahoo, Google), Google Timeline (uses Google and charts by recency), Site Information, 4 Sources (using Ask, Yahoo, Google, MSN), a bunch of photo views, and a number of others oriented to searches for books, music, etc.
  • I am also finding uses for the Firefox plugin, Ubiquity, I described in the previous post. There are some neat things you can do by highlighting text and then activating Ubiquity. Another option I'm using is the Hyperwords addon for Firefox which works via mouse rightclicking.
BOTTOM LINE: I'm still mostly using Google for quick searching. I'm occasionally using Searchme and Viewzi for the additional capabilities they offer such as storing stacks and having multiple views. If I can't find what I want, then I move on to Yahoo or LiveSearch. (If you are searching for online books, however, do check this Online Book Search posting.)
BONUS: With two teenage daughters, we pretty much had to go with an unlimited text messaging plan. If you are not paying for each text message, you really ought to check out the Google SMS service. It is a fantastic way to have weather, movie times, directions, definitions, translations, price checks, etc. available to you on your phone.

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