doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Visual Searching

I’m always looking for a way to make the web mine so that I have control over what it is that I’m doing.  Search is one of those areas.  There are incredible search engines like Yahoo!, Bing, and Google which scour the web and index resources for you.  They often work well individually or in tandem to get what I want.

Often, though, I don’t know what it is that I want.  Sometimes, it’s just a webpage.  Sometimes, it’s a graphic.  Sometimes, it’s a movie.  Sometimes, I go looking for a webpage and then end up realizing that what I really wanted was a movie.  Sometimes, what I’m looking for is something that’s just happening or trending at the moment.

Foremost, I’d also like a sense of a preview before I take the time to click through and explore the resource.

For a while now, I’ve been playing around with the Spezify search engine.  It’s available as a standalone web search site and also as a Firefox add-on. Spezify searches multiple sources and returns web links, movies, images, and Twitter messages as part of its efforts.

What’s so powerful is that, as shown above in my search for “Canada”, the results are returned as preview images of the resource.  You get a better sense of what you’re going to get should you follow through with it.  It’s an interesting way to think about search and worth taking a look at.  Navigation is unique but once you get used to it and the use of related keywords, it does zero in on topics quickly and with good visualization.

Once again, the web is not sitting still and is adapting to give us options to work the way that we need it to work.

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