Sunday, September 14, 2014

Project #15

Search Engines

With the power and far reaching arms of Google these days, it is hard to imagine using any other search engine on a regular basis. Even finding different search engines seemed to be an impossible task. I actually used Google to find other search engines mentioned in this post! Surprisingly, I did find some very intriguing search engines.

1. WoW Search

WoW Search home pageWoW Search gives the user many options when it comes to what websites they want to search. With WoW, you can search human edited websites, other search engines, or reference pages, all from one simple, easy search page. This would make a wonderful home screen for an internet browser if you are prone to search often. I especially like the reference function, since I am often searching for the meaning of words and their synonyms. The layout is very user friendly, but unfortunately this search engine does not do anything special that other engines cannot do.

2. IceRocket

IceRocket home pageIceRocket is an Internet search engine specializing in searching social media. This website allows you to search blogs, twitter, facebook, or all three at the same time. This is wonderful for those of us who are learning about utilizing technology in new forms to further education. Being able to search social media easily without having to navigate unrelated pages that most search engines such as Google include is an absolute blessing. This would give us easy access to new education blogs to read. Plus, you can search key terms, blogs from a specific author, or blogs on a specific page. I am most definitely going to be using this in the future!

3. ChaCha

ChaCha home page
ChaCha is an Internet and human lead search engine. This engine can be accessed by text message, internet, or a mobile app. Although it seems appealing to be able to search something and get a response from a human, sometimes they do not provide enough information or can be unreliable. For those who enjoy getting information directly from human interaction, this search engine has great use. I believe that this engine was at its best when cell phones did not have ready access to a user friendly internet interface, it was wonderful to be able to text questions and get answers texted back, but now that most all mobile phones have user friendly internet access; therefore, ChaCha has stopped offering this service and has lost a substantial portion of its edge.

4. Blekko

Blekko home pageAccording to Blekko's about page on their website, "At Blekko, our mission is to create a differentiated search experience by delivering high quality, curated results and organizing content into categories. Our sophisticated search technology powers our suite of products – a web search engine, mobile app, and social news platform." Blekko is great in its organization. When a term or phrase is searched, the results are categorized into domains on the left hand side of them page. These domains include terms such as top results, latest, jobs, music, and lyrics. Blekko has the potential to rival Google, but it does not provide many of the search services such as videos, news, books, and shopping. I still enjoyed playing around with it and will definitely experiment with it some more.

5. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo home page
According to DuckDuckGo's website, their mission is simple. They provide a searching service without tracking the user. They also pride themselves on fewer adds and reduced spam to provide a "clutter-free" look. This website also provides only one page of results, so it is a one click search engine. Like many other apps today, it continues to load results at the bottom of the page. This search engine does include other areas to search such as videos and news. While this could be appealing to some people through their no tracing policy, it was not my favorite search engine to use; however, I did enjoy the one page search results.

6. Yippy

Yippy home page
Yippy is an Internet search engine that provides clusters of results. Related search results are filtered under the domains of cloud, sources, sites, and time. You can also browse by web, blogs, news, wikipedia, and more. This is actually quite an interesting take on categorizing searches. This would be great for deep searches that require refining to produce the results you want. Although I find this approach interesting, I do not foresee myself using it much, but who knows? Maybe it will come in handy for someone else!

7. Webopedia

Webopedia home page
According to Webopedia's website, "Webopedia is an online tech dictionary for IT professionals and educators, providing definitions to words, phrases and abbreviations related to computing and information technology. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand definitions, avoiding the use of heavy jargon when possible so that the site is accessible to users with a wide range of computer knowledge." In this ever-changing technological world, this online collective knowledge of tech terms is great for those of us who aren't as tech savvy as we would like to be. I am constantly confused by technical terms. This website provides easy to understand definitions in a user friendly layout. Webopedia's definitions are also constantly updated as the technological world changes, and new words are added every day. This website is definitely going to fulfill its potential in my life. 

8. WolframAlpha

WolframAlpha home page
WolframAlpha blows my mind. It is a computational knowledge engine, meaning it computes systematic knowledge into one easily accessible form. Rather than providing related web pages as the answers to search terms, this website compiles the answers to the terms into one web page; therefore, this website appears to be more geared towards producing facts and computations of mathematical or scientific problems than towards general how to questions or finding abstract information. Still, if I need the facts about a subject or to do a computation, I am forever turning to WolframAlpha. I am only scared that one day this website's math and science features will deter students from truly learning the process of solving problems for themselves. Altogether, this computational knowledge engine has clear advantages and more than enough potential to be one of the best engines out there.

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