Tuesday, August 5, 2008

World's Largest Search Engine?

MOVE

Over the past weekend I boxed up all my possessions and said goodbye to my old home, moved about four blocks and into my new place. I love the new place and have already arranged furniture, set up the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. I still have boxes of things shoved into cabinets and nooks and though I tried to label every box and organize the packing according to the items location or function towards the end of packing (when friends were moving boxes into pick-up trucks and such) some boxes became catch all's.

SEARCH
Before all the little things get unpacked and put into their proper places there's the occasional wondering about where a certain item is. Sometimes this happens even after its been unpacked. Luckily most of the things that are still hiding in boxes, sometimes inside of other boxes are mostly unimportant details (except my iPod headphones which I wish I had right now so I could blast my own music and drown out the piped in tunes at the cafe I'm currently writing from).




I had heard of this thing called Cuil in the past couple days, but hadn't taken the time to find out what it is. Today I'm looking into it with a great deal of interest. It's a search engine that claims to be the "world's biggest search engine" - I'm not sure I'd have the ability to prove or disprove that staement, but I can mention some of its freatures.
Columns - the search results are given in columns, you can specify either two or three columns. It seems to give you more browsability in a single page, maybe its just nice becasue its a new layout for search results. I like it.

Drilldown - allows you to "explore by category" after your search. The subject headings drop-down dynamically which is really nice. And if you click on one of the recommended subjects it opens a new search result page with a new subject list on the right, which you could browse through again.

Roll-over definitions - if you pause on a subject it recommends it will give a brief definition of the subject or term. This is really nice if you're not sure how relevant the topic or term is to what you're looking for. I had a search with a person's name in a sub-set of the categorical explorations - and the roll-over definition explained who they were.

Tabs - Cuil will give you tabs of possibly relevant topics aftger your search. If there are a lot of recommendations the right-most tab will be a "more..." tab that drops down with even more suggestions. Once you click through you no longer get tabs - not sure if this is good or bad, I like the tabs and wish they would exist on any search result page, but I suppose thats where you could continue searching by category.

Navigation suggestion - as you type, Cuil may give you recommended websites that match your search in a list form. Seems to work like a charm and saves you from typing really long words.
I'll have to continue playing with Cuil and see if my search habits change. Have you used Cuil? What do you think? Do you find it easier to use than other search engines? I'd love to hear your opinions.

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