Just a brief entry to mark the closure of Polyfetch. The URL just redirects to Google now. It was a nice little search engine which allowed you to open several panes at once to compare different websites. Shame that it's disappeared.
There are plenty of search engines that already offer you private searching, such as DuckDuckGo, the UK's Oscobo, and StartPage, so Peekier is another entrant into that busy field. However, while is does all that the other engines do to protect your privacy by not storing searches, IP addresses and the like, it has an interestingly different way of providing you with results. Rather than the usual text links it's more of a visual results engine which gives you tiled results for your queries.
I've chosen the smallest tile set, but you can get larger if you prefer. You can mouseover an image and see it larger on the screen and you can scroll around the page, but you can't click to go to other pages on the site, which is common with other engines that use this approach. It pulls its results from Bing rather than Google, so you've got a nice alternative.
Of course there are plenty of limitations with it - you can't search for images, news, video and so on. However, as you can see from the search bar, it is giving you some suggested search options that you can try. Is it worth using? If you're already using a privacy enabled search engine, probably not. On the other hand, if you like the tile based layout this might tempt you away from your preferred option.
The Need2Find search engine is powered by Google. Consequently you're not getting anything particularly exciting, since it really is a cut down version, just giving you web pages, images, and video. It says that it offers news but I couldn't get a peep out of that tab at all, so I'm discounting it. It seems to be associated with the MyAllSearch engine since all of the 'about us' links go back to their pages.
I ran a few searches and it does give different sets of results so if you want to search Google, but get some different results to those that you would get if you actually searched Google (if you see what I mean!!) this might be worth a look.
Thanks to my correspondent Sam, who alerted me to the fact that it seems another social media search engine, Smashfuse, has died. I wrote about this one back in May 2014 and it was a neat little search engine, providing access to a wide variety of social networks with results delivered in a tile based format. Not one that I used a great deal myself, but it's always sad to see more engines disappearing.
The death of human moderated search engines continues as one of the longest surviving - perhaps THE longest surviving version has now closed its doors. A human moderated search engine is one where you can ask your question, and it will be passed onto a real live person to give you an answer. In total ChaCha answered about 2.25 billion questions, had 100,000 guides and employed about 440 people. At its peak it had about 370 million page views in August 2012, and this had dropped to 6 million in November 2016.
It really does seem that this type of engine doesn't work. Mahalo tried and failed, as did TrueKnowledge and we're currently left with AskJelly and Answerbag with probably the best being WikiAnswers. The fatal flaw in these things seems to be two fold. Firstly, there's no structure to it; serious questions sit side by side with trivia, and you can't ever be sure that your query is going to be answered already, so you have to wait some time before it is, and most people want answers *now*, not in a few hours time. Secondly, who is the person giving you the answer, and can you trust them? Not so bad if it's a straightforward question with a factual answer, but anything that has even a slight nuance is going to subject to the attitude and opinions of the person answering.
Metro5 is fairly straightforward in that it's an engine that just searches the web or news. It then displays the top 50 results that it finds in a basic text format. The unique point that it has is that you as the searcher can rate a site, by saying that you like it or dislike it, and 6 different reasons why that may be the case. Your ranking is confirmed by tweeting the rank for everyone that you follow to see. That's what makes this one interesting, since you could easily set up a filter and/or edit your tweet to allow other people to follow it. It would be great at a conference for example if someone was able to do that - of course you could just tweet it, but this is a nice simple way of doing that for you.
However, other than that, it's a very basic engine with the usual search functionality that you could expect.
The Yippy search engine has had a long and torturous history. We had a great little search engine called Clusty, which then morphed into Yippy. It used to have a family friendly mission statement, only giving access to material that was appropriate for all ages, and to promote conservative values (whatever they are!) Almost overnight it went from being a really useful engine as Clusty into a train wreck that was Yippy. Thankfully it then disappeared off our radar, and we thought that it had disappeared for good.
Until today, when it has returned. It's no better than when it left us, quite frankly. It has, interesting, got rid of the whole family friendly approach, given that it was perfectly happy to return lots of hits on my quite frankly extreme pornography search, so we can draw a line through that particular selling point. It does however still cluster results - that is to say, that if you do a search for 'Everton', it will return clusters for 'Football', 'Club', 'Fixtures' and so on. You can then click on the appropriate cluster and drill down into the results, so that's actually quite useful in its own right.
However... you can't go back to view a previous result. It's just gone. You have to redo the search from scratch. There's also no advanced search option, although there are some advanced search functions - I could do a search for title: but it wasn't interested in doing a search for site: So I think I'm supposed to just go through each potential search function in turn to find the ones the work. Not terribly helpful.
There also isn't a way to search images, news, videos, or anything else from what I can see. We're stuck with just a straight forward web search. Seriously, why would anyone bother to use such a archiac waste of space? Even then, their numbers count is off - I did a search which gave me 4 results, but there was only one available for me to view; filetype:pdf dog Now, I know that Google gets confused over numbers, but at least they're usually working in hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
In summary, Yippy is a complete waste of space, and more importantly a waste of your time. Simply ignore it and carry on using a decent clustering search engine like Carrot2 at http://search.carrot2.org/stable/search
Yandex is an excellent alternative to Google. Not only does it work in the same way, so you'll immediately be familiar with the interface, but it also provides extra functionality that goes way beyond anything that Google can offer. It's a real search engine for real information professionals. If you're tired and fed up with the limitations that Google places on you when you're trying to search, take a look at Yandex.
This is one of the videos in my Advanced Internet Search course, so hopefully as well as being a useful and interesting video in its own right, it'll give you some idea of the way that I've put other videos together. This video covers the basics of Yandex; there's another that goes into more detail on the many excellent advanced search functions. The idea is that you will have access to all of them - currently 6.5 hours worth - all of the time, so you can quickly refresh your memory when it comes to running searches, or trying to find a more effective search engine than the one that you're currently using. If you want more information on the courses, you can go to my training site at http://philbradleytraining.weebly.com/ Anyway, enough of the advert - I hope that you find the video useful to you.
Phil Bradley Training is being launched on Friday 7th October with two courses held in a central London location.
Earlier this year I sent out a survey asking what kind of training you wanted Many of you were kind enough to send me your thoughts. Since then, I’ve been developing what I hope will be a new type of training experience - effective, flexible, affordable – and designed to ‘last for life’.
What’s on offer? • Two courses available on the day; Advanced Internet Search and Apps for Librarians. Choose one or both, morning or afternoon • Each course is two and a half hours long • After you have booked I’ll send details on how you can access the training videos, each covering a tool, a technique or a process The courses have between 5.30 and 6.30 hours worth of video training. You don’t need to wait for the day of the course to start learning! • Videos will be constantly updated and enhanced as tools change and new ideas/products develop. New videos will be added on a regular basis, keeping you up to date with news and developments • Access to a dynamic community of fellow learners • Access to online video chats and text chats with me
Course details Apps for Librarians This course will look at a variety of different apps that information professionals can use in their daily work. It covers browsers, search engines, productivity tools, scanning apps, creatingmultimedia resources, guiding tools, reference and news apps. Although I’ll be using an iOS device, the course will also work if you use Android apps. Delegates will be able to explore these tools, work together, try things out, and learn practical things to help them in their jobs.
Advanced Internet Searching This course will cover exactly what you would expect. How to search the internet quickly and effectively using both Google and a variety of other search engines. Delegates will learn how to get the best out of Google, and will also have an opportunity to explore other search engines. Videos in the series will look at ways to do other advanced searches, such as reverse image look up, in-depth data mining, and in-depth looks at many different search engines.
If you've got any queries or questions, please let me know! I'm really excited about this - I hope that we can start to properly break away from the 'traditional' form of one day training - it certainly has and will continue to have an important place in how we learn, but I think it's time for more flexibility!