EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Technology, Search Engines, Web 2.0: Omgili, Zoomii, Viewzi, Ask.Metafilter and a new rival to Google: Cuil

The slogan on the frontpage of Omgili states “Find out what people are saying“, by checking their forums (“boards”) where participants share opinions, offer recommendations, answer technological/troubleshooting advice, and provide consumer reviews (somewhat like epinion.com – which has been around a lot longer). It’s yet another brand of Web 2.0 search engine/combo. Search Engine News writer Terri Wells calls it a “search engine for the subjective” (link to her 6-2-2008 review) and awarded Omgili a 4-star rating (on a scale of 1-5).

Launched Jun 18 2008, Zoomii Books calls itself A “Real” Online Bookstore, opening with a brief tutorial on how to use the site. Zoomii currently has one employee: Canadian Chris Thiessen, who invented it.  Or take the tour of how to use Zoomii on YouTube (link here).

Still in beta, navigating through the Viewzi search site takes a bit of practice. Type in a search term or terms(s) and after the search has processed, you can slide your mouse along the top of the screen to select the areas of digital information you’re interested in viewing. Viewzi search sections include MP3 files, Weather around the world, News, results from Four Sources (Yahoo, Google, Ask and MSN are shown under their assigned colors), Simple Text Search, Food Recipes, Tech Crunch, Celebrity Photos, Videos, Photos or 3-D Photo Cloud.

Below is a screenshot of the 3-D photo cloud from Viewzi for a sample search on “yellow roses”:

Image source: Viewzi.com – All rights reserved – Copyright 2008

While I wouldn’t use Viewzi for a medical search, the results are interesting for a just plain old Basic Question, of which reference librarians are asked in this library occasionally.

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Next: The much-touted Cuil search engine debuted on Monday Jul 28 2008, stating that it indexes 120 billion pages. Performance expectations for the site are high. Give it a chance to get up to speed… it will. Their server crashed on the first day, but it is working again.

Image source/credit: http://www.cuil.com/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2008

Rivers of digital ink are pouring out about rivalry between Cuil and Google, with all the elements in place for a grudge match… former Google employees, highly proprietary technologies, lucrative and competitive markets. Tech writers at CrunchBase.com provide some basic information about the company:

Cuil is a stealth search engine startup which claims that it can index web pages significantly faster and cheaper than Google. Cuil has told potential investors that their indexing costs will be 1/10th of Google’s, based on new search architectures and relevance methods… Cuil was founded by highly respected search experts. Husband and wife team Tom Costello and Anna Patterson were joined by Russell Power. Patterson and Power are ex-Google search experts. Costello was the founder of Xift.

Source: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/cuil

Privacy concerns?  Here is some positive information found on Cuil’s About Page – On Privacy:

Image source/credit: http://www.cuil.com/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2008

And reporter Rick Aristotle Munarriz posted this article: “Will Cuil Kill Google?” on Motley Fool.com (Jul 28 2008 ).

Librarians have a standard tool to use when testing about a new search engine: Use your own name to search on. This exercise actually works well because you are the best authority of the accuracy or links from varied sourced indexed and tagged within the Google or Cuil brain.

Try a search using Cuil on your own name then compare those results to what you get from doing an identical search using Google.  And since we all live and dwell in a real-life community with digital or virtual counterparts – it is practical to learn where or how your name is listed in major search engines.

I plan on using Cuil, and will watch with interest on how it develops its brand… but this librarian isn’t giving up searching Google just yet.

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Lastly: Ask Metafilter‘s slogan is “Querying the Hive Mind“.  There is a one-time charge of $5.00 (U.S.) to sign up for an Ask Metafilter account.  You must log in in order to post questions or comments, but any guest user can surf the site to see what types of questions or groups are available. OK!

Image source: http://askmetafilter.com – All rights reserved – Copyright 2008

After spending 10 minutes looking around on this site, I had difficulty understanding how the archives are arranged.  Postings show up by larger Category and then by date order.  How are individual topics and chats organized or indexed beyond that?

Maybe this site doesn’t make sense to me because I’m not a digital native?  Here’s a sample post found on AskMetafilter’s Human Relations section. Question: Why give away that much personal, identifying information?  Possible Answer: There is no delete key on the internet, Avi. Take care what you share online.

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One response to “Technology, Search Engines, Web 2.0: Omgili, Zoomii, Viewzi, Ask.Metafilter and a new rival to Google: Cuil

  1. Natali July 29, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    The new visual search engine already exists, it is only for kids 🙂
    http://www.aga-kids.com/

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