Where librarians and the internet meet: internet searching, Web 2.0 resources, search engines and their development. These are my personal views and not those of CILIP or any other organisation I may be associated with.
calls itself The best infographics blog of the galaxy! Well - it's nice to have confidence! It's a blog site that just lists infographics, but it's got a useful menu of subjects down the site. Worth remembering if you're looking for just the right infographic and can't find it elsewhere!
Explore the hashtagspace This is a nice little search feature for hashtags on Twitter. Simply pop in your preferred hashtag to search on, and it will display a 'wonder wheel' of related tags, links to most recent tweets using the tag and a graph of top influencers of that particular tag. It looks nice and neat and does the job well. The top influencers graph looks very interesting, and would be a great way to find good people to follow in a particular area. I'd like to see an integration with ones own Twitter account, but this is a great start.
RIP:Viewzi. A bit of sad news - Viewzi, which I always liked - cracking little search engine that provided over 14 different ways to visually search the web has shut its doors. It hadn't been actively developed since the end of 2008. Another small 'victory' for the big boys of whitebread search I'm afraid.
Visual Search Engine. This is an interesting engine, and one worth taking a look at. The
method of displaying webpages is by horizontal scrolling, with an
automatic sliding to make it simple to the searchers. You can slide the
pages as faster or slower you want. You control the scrolling through a
pointer. The pointer indicate the webpage or pages displayed at the
top, and in the bottom area will be located a big display of the
webpages content are displayed in graphic format, it means that all
the homepages or interior pages of the websites requested will be
showed as they actually look on the internet. A few results in text
format will be displayed. With this tool, you can easily find and
compare the ones you need or only see some images or pictures desired.
You have the option to log in to the desired webpages and go back to
perform another search.
You can also set up to 10 specific sites that are preloaded and you can skim through them, so it's vaguely akin to a basic start page option, though of course you can't share the page.
This is quite interesting if you like visual results. Yometa takes the results from Google, Yahoo and Bing and displays them in a Venn diagram, thus:
To search a term, simply type in a search term in the top left entry box and click the search button.
The top 22 results will be displayed as pins on the three intersecting circles. The top 4 results (as determined by the Yometa algorithm) among these 22 pins will display in the form of bubbles with website information, linked to the pin location.
To search among the remaining Yometa first page results, simply hover your mouse over the squares on the far left side of the screen. Website bubbles will display over every 4 results in a sequential manner.
To display the next set of results, i.e, results 23-44, press the “next” link at the bottom of the set of blue squares.
To display any combination of results from the three search engines, simply click on the appropriate section of smaller set of intersecting circles on the left side of the screen.
For example, if you want to see only the results shared by all the three engines Google(red), Yahoo(green), and Bing(blue), you would click on the center portion of the small intersecting circle.
To go back to the original results, simply click on the shaded portion again.
There are a few visual search engines around at the moment, and SpaceTime 3D is a new one that I've just discovered. A visual search engine is one that displays results for you visually - usually as a series of thumbnail shots, although of course it there are other alternatives. SpaceTime 3D displays pages in an arc, and you can flick through them, clicking on any that interest you. Spacetime has search options for Google, Images, Wikipedia and YouTube. I have to guess at the selling point, since there's nothing on the page to tell me anything about these people, but it's the size of the thumbnail - it's very clear indeed. Perhaps too clear I'm afraid, since the thumbnail dominates the webpage, pushing out the other pages in the arc, and I found it rather too claustrophobic for my tastes. However, demonstrating or training could be another matter, and I can see how it would work there. My preference is still for RedZ in this area - it was the first of them and I still prefer it. Yes, the previews are smaller, but I like being able to see more of them, and that's surely what visual search is all about. RedZ doesn't have the Wikipedia option, but as well as Web and Images, it's got News and Video, which I'm happier with anyway.
Your mileage may vary however, so I've included a screenshot of both engines for you to take a look at.
Kartoo, one of the first of the visual search engines, with it's particular mapping technique would appear to have died. It underwent a fairly radical change a few months ago, but the homepage is now blank and their blog isn't available either.
If it has gone, it's a real shame, since it's one that I always used to point people towards.
Visual search is a fairly straightforward concept these days, but having discussed Google and Bing I found another offering - Spacetime 3D via the always useful AltSearchEngines site. Type in your search and get a series of results - enlarged thumbshots of webpages that you can scroll through:
I've been playing around with an engine called Middlespot recently. It's a visual search engine as you can see:
It has some nice functionality - showing you your results (obviously) and allowing you to resize the thumbnail if you want to see the page better, choosing a related search based on the thumbnail that you're looking at: You can also create and save your own 'workpads' of selected sites, and the site explains how these work: "You can rename them to better reflect what they contain, leave a comment
describing the contents of the workpad, open the entire workpad in the middlespot.com interface,
and add any url you want. Your collected result is stored as a screenshot that you can uniquely
annotate with your own comments. The number of workpads you can create is infinite."
There are also search options for images, news, Amazon and Twitter as well. These were fine, but it was the web option that I found particularly interesting. Results can sometimes be slow, but that didn't always happen - apparently it's just two guys creating this, so I'm happy to provide considerable slack on this. Worth looking at.