This piece was written for a commentary on the BBC World Service Business Daily about Jerry Yang’s decision to resign as CEO. Back in the early days of the World Wide Web there was really only one name. Yahoo. You could tell it was big because it was what you’d type in your browser to see if your computer was connected to the Internet. Without fail: Yahoo.com. It’s been around since 1994, since Jerry Yang and David Filo, two grad students at Stanford, built a list of interesting websites, a sort of yellow pages for the Internet. They called it, first, Jerry’s Guide to the
Aaron Koblin – Work some very cool visualisations of data–and surprising sources, including 8000 people drawing sheep for two cents on Mechanical Turk. Go figure (tags: web visualization interaction inspiration dataviz map) Yahoo! Glue – Web Search interesting multiple search and virtual page creation tool from Yahoo–but available only via the Indian domain, apparently (tags: yahoo tools search india) AllofMe | Put yourself together Automatically create a Personal Timeline of your Life from any digital assets you have, such as pictures, videos, blogs, documents, or any internet page. (tags: web2.0 timelines socialsoftware socialnetworking)
There’s a new search engine out there, according to the Guardian, and it sort of tries to figure out what you’re looking for. Which is good. Google searches are great so long as they’re simple. But is Powerset up to snuff? Here are some searches I did (betraying my interests): Pretty good stuff. And how about me? Even less obvious matches seem to work: Also right on the money. Nixon got second place when I asked who was the first u.s. president to resign? which is good enough: Other searches tho — how many copies of Office 2007 has Microsoft sold? and how far is
This week in the WSJ.com (subscription only, I’m afraid) I wrote about web spam — the growing penetration of faux websites that ride up the search engines and muddy the Internet for all of us. I based it around the recent case of subdomain spam, well documented by the likes of blogs like Monetize. Briefly websites controlled by one Moldovan hit the high rankings on several major search engines using techniques that are imaginative, but not exactly beyond the intelligence of savvy search engine builders. It’s not as intrusive as spam in your inbox but it’s trashing the web and undermining the usefulness of search
To accompany my column this week on podcasting (which will appear here when it’s out; subscription only I’m afraid), here’s a directory of podcast directories (and search engines), in no particular order: iPodder Podcast Alley iPodderX PodNova Podcast.net Podcast Central Blast Podcast Potkast The Podcast Network PodcastHost Directory PodTower.com PublicRadioFan.com Podcast Directory Podcast Pickle Podcasting News directory PodCasterWorld Podfeed.net PodFeeder BritCaster AllPodcasts podCast411 Experience Podcasting PenguinRadio Some are better than others. Depends what you’re looking for. I’m sure there are more: Please feel free to add.
LookSmart has today unveiled some more focused search engines, according to a press release from the company: It calls them ‘vertical search destinations’ to ‘provide niche audiences with essential search results, versus the typically exhaustive returns from other search engines’: the trendy www.teenja.com for teens; the more studious www.gradewinner.com for “tweens;” and www.24hourscholar.com for college students. Two additional resources are dedicated to parents: www.parentsurf.com for all family matters; and www.gobelle.com for moms on the go. Here’s LookSmart’s philosophy: “LookSmart believes that search on the Web will become increasingly vertical and personal. Consumers turn to the Web in search of essential content, be it related to
Maybe it’s just Yahoo! trying out the competition, but a press release from Tucson, AZ-based Webglimpse.net, maintainers of the Glimpse search engine, say that Yahoo! has “purchased several licenses” of its software for internal use. Glimpse is a C program for fast searching of large numbers of text files on Unix systems. It is at the core of Webglimpse, a website search engine. WebGlimpse’s Golda Velez says: “As I understand it this will be used by Yahoo! and Overture developers as a tool to search local datasets, possibly a large code base.” Why isn’t Yahoo using its own software for this kind of thing?
This whole grab-stuff-from- the-net-and-store-it- somewhere-you-might- be-able-to-find-it thing seems to be taking off at long last. Furl, which allows you to save clips from the Internet and store/share/access/search them easily, has just told its customers in an email (no URL available yet) that it has been bought by LookSmart, a SF-based “provider of Web search and research-quality articles”. Furl’s Mike Giles, Founder & CEO, has assured its users that “LookSmart has no intention of changing the things that make it great. On the contrary, LookSmart is committed to making existing features even more powerful.” To sweeten the move for users, Furl is giving each 5 gigabytes
Another addition to my index of indexing programs: diskMETA, from <META> Inc. “the largest search engine provider in Ukraine and a leader in Cyrillic multilingual search engine morphology technologies”. A press release issued today says diskMETA is one of the fastest desktop search engines, and is available both as freeware and shareware. The program “is intended for extra large data volumes, UP TO 100 GIGABYTES. It can create up to 100 indexes, index up to ONE MILLION various files. The search time is never more than ONE SECOND”. It works on all Windows platforms (98 or higher). The file search works with Office document formats (DOC,
Search is getting big again. Will it work this time around? Programs that search your hard drive have been around for a while, but few of them seem to last. There was Magellan, askSam (OK, still around, sort of), Altavista’s Desktop Search, dtSearch (still going strong) and Enfish (still around, barely breathing). That was in the 1990s. But it’s only recently we’ve seen folk get really excited about the space again: There’s X1, Tukaroo (bought out pre-launch by Ask Jeeves), HotBot Search, and now something called blinkx (thanks, Marjolein, for pointing it out.) Blinkx was officially launched last month as “a free new search tool