Search done? These two say “hell no”

I have been checking into other search engines that do something better than the big three. I’ve found two:

Quintura. Has a cool new UI. Here’s a demo. (You can try it out, but it requires a download and install of a client application). I find that this is a bit frustrating to use. I like iterating through many searches that are subsets of the first search and getting back to try a new search isn’t very intuitive. But, once you get used to it this is a really cool way to search cause it shows you the other possible choices.

Kosmix. This afternoon I talked with their executive team after getting out of the Entrepreneur event. I asked them what Google does better. Most things it turns out. But they found a really important place where they are dramatically better than Google. Where? Whenever you have an open-ended search that has no “right” answers. For instance, search Google for “Diabetes” and you’ll get 10 answers alright, but they are rarely useful results. Kosmix gives a lot better grouping of answers. Update: Kosmix’ Kevin Ota tells me they’ll turn on their engine with a better UI on February 7 (and a bunch of new features when they ship it officially at the Demo conference).

Is search done? Not according to these two companies.

Or, ask Gary Price of Search Engine Watch. He just linked to TVEyes that does a new keyword search of TV News Content and other video stuff.

Are you seeing other companies do cool things in the search world?

Anti-Microsofties get into Search Champs

Hey, Brady, what’s up with inviting anti-Microsoft folks into Search Champs? Folks like Ted Leung who is working on the open source Chandler calendaring application. Or Emily Chang?

Oh, I think Emily Chang covers it pretty well on her post (and she has a list of all the Search Champs, darn interesting blog reading there).

I love this new trend of listening to people who’ve fired us (or who are trying to compete with us). There’s more post-search-champs-meeting talk on Memorandum.

Oh, I like Ted and his family a lot. He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met. Damn smart, too. I wish I could hire him.

Cede search to Google?

Come on Yahoo. Steve Rubel is right. There is so much left to do it isn’t even funny and if a company discovers a better way to do search they can take share away from Google (which, yes, does have a monopoly share of the search market). I can’t find a ton of stuff on Google, though, the job simply is NOT done! Google hasn’t even tried to do good blog search yet, for instance. Technorati/Feedster/Pubsub kick Google’s ass, which is really sad cause all three aren’t very good at bringing you the best bloggers.

I’m sure this will be a topic at the Search Champs meeting we’re having this week (starting tonight). I’ll be there and will report more on what I hear.

More on this on Memeorandum. A lot more.

By the way, I would be willing to bet that Yahoo’s CFO gave a quote that’s now being used out of context.

I really don’t care about search market share. If I did I would have bet on Alta Vista. I didn’t. I went with Google because Google had better search.

Tomorrow? I guess Yahoo isn’t confident. Might be why Gary Flake, one of Yahoo’s top search minds came to work at Microsoft.

I’m pushing for more transparency, here’s why

You only need to watch the PR (by Nathan Weinberg on the Inside Microsoft blog) that Microsoft received over the past week to understand that more transparency would be a good thing. Danny Sullivan, over on Search Engine Watch made the same point several times.

As I flew across the United States yesterday this story was at the top of page one on every newspaper I saw.

Note to Microsoft employees: if you aren’t transparent about when you deal with governments you will hand your competitors a huge advantage. If it were up to me I’d blog whenever governmental requests come in. One area that isn’t possible is when there are crimes involved, though. Companies regularly turn data over under subpoena.

One last thought on this story. It’s real easy to trash customer trust and very hard to earn it back. Transparency is the way here.

I’ll be at the Search Champs meeting with MSN too and will make these points again there.

How would you handle it if you were running a search engine or blog service and a government asked you to do something, even something with great ends? How would you have handled this case?

Mark Cuban warns us against building the American Idol of Search

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the IceRocket blog search engine asks “The better question is – “will objective search remain the people’s choice in search engines?” In other words, is there such a thing as a best answer for most questions and is that what a significant number of search users want?”

There is bias in every system, whether algorithmic or human-based. The algorithmic is just a bit more predictable.

Speaking of human based, have any of you been watching digg spy? That shows you — in live time — what Digg’s members are adding to it. That’s cool. Not sure how useful it is, but I just found this digg about a site that is advocating using the Firefox/IE RSS icon.