It was eight years ago this month that Google left the garage and emerged as the true young turk, the new kid on the block. This month, eight years ago, Google tugged on Superman’s cape, spat into the wind, pulled the mask of that old Lone Ranger, …
Eight years. About ten to twenty lifetimes in internet time. There were several search engines before Google (anybody remember when Yahoo was the search engine of choice? Anybody remember Altavista? How about Magellan? Infoseek?
Anybody remember the big press and big money that went into some of the big failures? Ask Jeeves, for example. I remember that one of the jokes was to Ask Jeeves a question (I think it claimed a natural language interface) and take bets on how close the response would be to what you really wanted.
A friend recently sent me pointers to the Searchme.com search engine. He swears by it, I find it agonizing to use (when I ask a question, don’t show me where the answer is, show me the answer. If the answer is close to what I’m looking for I’ll look further. Then again, this is basically true about all search engines. None of them (as of yet) respond with what I’m looking for, only what (at best) other people found when they entered the same words I did).
Another new contender, Cuil, is closer to what I’d prefer except that once you get to page 3 of a multipage response the list becomes repetitive and you get to that third page fairly quickly.
All of this has meaning because I recently started going through some data NextStage has been collecting for several years now (this project started in 2001. All of our research is longitudinal…in internet terms) on where people would like browser technology to be — features, capabilities, what should be included and what should go away. Elements are showing up but the whole enchilada hasn’t appeared yet.
I’ll give you a clue. Go to any mall any day of the week, and time of the day (providing the mall is open) and it will be obvious.
But probably not until someone points it out. I know it wasn’t obvious to me until I read through the data and recognized where it was pointing.
Just what you wanted, yes? Yet another reason to go to the mall.
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