A comment on my blog from Charles Knight led me to this visual search engine that I hadn’t seen before. Searchme has huge appeal for all those visual learners out there. It has huge appeal for me and I don’t necessarily think I fall into the visual learner category (but I could be wrong about that!).
I love it because of the way it represents search results. It’s like the iTouch – your search returns are represented with the actual page on the screen – behind it are the other pages that you can view by clicking on them or using the scroll tab at the bottom of the page. Here’s what it looks like. I searched for one of my all time fave bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
You get the idea, right? I’m loving it. I can see the appeal for students today. Most of mine default to Google because they don’t know what else is out there. They get a page of results and click through text after endless text trying to find something suitable. With Searchme they get a eyeball on the page straight up and can start assessing its suitability from the get go. When you start typing your search request categories pop up to allow you to filter your search or you can choose the search all option. It’s still in Beta so you can’t expect brilliant returns every time, but Charles at AltSearchEngines has posted about it saying that it has just received another billion or so in funding so things can only get better.
Don’t you just love what’s happening with Search engines today? Semantic search engines like Mahalo and visual options like Searchme are helping to make search more meaningful for our students. If Google don’t watch out they might have some competition on their hands. Better get Knol out there soon I’d say!
Thanks Charles for the comment and for your great site. AltSearchEngines – check it out!
Newsweek writer Tony Dokoupil wrote an article this week called ‘Revenge of the experts’. In it, he asks the question ‘Is user generated content out?’ The byline of the article is;
“The individual user has been king on the Internet, but the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward edited information vetted by professionals.”
The article champions the idea that we are moving into a new phase of the internet – internet 3.0, where the wisdom of crowds (web 2.0) is being supplemented by another layer “of truly talented, compensated people to make the product more trusted and refined.” (Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis) The article uses Google’s Knol (still in development), About.com, who employ guides to find relevant results for search terms, and Mahalo, a people powered search engine, as examples of the new direction the web may be heading in.
Another featured new entry into the market is BigThink.com, “a self-styled “YouTube for ideas” backed by former Harvard president Larry Summers and others (It) debuted its cache of polished video interviews with public intellectuals.” I took a look and I liked what I saw. The videos are arranged into topics including History, Business and Economics, Science and Technology, Media and the Press, Truth and Justice as well as many others. Our Year 10 students have, ‘What makes us human’, as an overarching question for their study of English for a semester. Low and behold, there’s a video on this site dealing with exactly that question. I could see that this site would be an easy sell to the sceptics out there who doubt YouTube. (Personally, I love it!) Most of the videos on BigThink.com are less than seven minutes and offer the hook for stimulating class discussion. You can register into the site and contribute to the discussion surrounding ideas they are talking about. A great classroom activity and one I’d like to try with my students. Definitely worth a look.
I really like the final quote from the article from Glenn Reynolds, author of ‘An Army of Davids’.
“There’s always a Big New Thing, but the old Big New Thing doesn’t really go away,” says Reynolds. “It becomes just another layer—like we’re building an onion from the inside out.”
I certainly hope we don’t see the demise of user-generated content. It’s one of the things I love about the web – its democratic nature allowing all to have input. Appeals to my upbringing.