Sent to you by Sean McBride via Google Reader: Headup! Information Incoming! via Alt Search Engines by rafi on 10/17/08 There’s a new phenomenon going on out there in the world of search, and we’re seeing it more and more here at ASE. As we reported with KallOut, search teams are now beginning to forgo the traditional browser-based approach. Where KallOut lets you search using a separate program that tags into any text you’re using on the web or in any MS Office document and gives you the information you want in little bubbles without having to leave what you’re doing, headup, by SemantiNet is out to do something similar.
I just spoke with SemantiNet co-founder Tal Keinan last night, and this thing is a big one. So much so, in fact, that I was a bit overwhelmed by its scope. It might actually search for, and find, TOO much of what you want, but than again, I’m probably just a wimp. Here’s a quick example. Search for a CD on Amazon, and headup will tell you this: * How many of your Facebook® friends like this band; * Hear the band’s latest music streamed via Pandora™ * See band pictures on Flickr®; * Find the best tickets for the concert in your city via Zvents™; * How many of your friends are using Twitter™ or Friendfeed™ to discuss the upcoming concert; * What restaurants near the concert hall are top-rated by Yelp®; * Use cutting-edge geolocation through Yahoo® and its Fire Eagle technology for accurate ‘where am I’ capabilities; Worried about being flooded? I was too, but don’t be. headup is nicely and neatly tucked away into a little tiny plus sign next to potentially interesting text, so it won’t jump at you like a slobbering punch-drunk labrador retriever. It will be quiet and obedient, like one of those helper monkeys I hear about in cartoons or some such. Video time! What you’re doing with headup is telling it who you are by uploading information about yourself, like your facebook profile, into it, and the more you give it, the more appropriate your searches will be. Worried about people spying on you? I asked Tal this question, and the answer’s at the end of the video, but if you missed it, there is no big brother watching you here. It’s just your hard drive working locally with the plugin. If I may editorialize here, I think, truly, that browser-free search, where you don’t have to go to a particular search engine, is going to be a big thing in the near future as it becomes more developed. What I think is needed here is to protect users from the potential torrential downpour of information that headup, or KallOut, can give you. What I mean is that I would really like to see these programs have an option for eliminating options, like seeing how many of my friends are interested in a band I’m searching. Personally, that doesn’t titillate my libido, though I recognize that it does for others. But other things that headup can do definitely make my grin widen, like hearing the music streaming via pandora? That’s cool. Let the people decide what they want to find, and have them put it in. Then you’ll have seriously targeted search that isn’t overwhelming. headup! Power to the people! Things you can do from here: - Subscribe to Alt Search Engines using Google Reader - Get started using Google Reader to easily keep up with all your favorite sites