Learned about Silobreaker yesterday from Yochai. It’s an interesting new search engine. Lots of stuff to dive down into. It’s very flashy (in both senses of the word) and clever. And it’s a mind candy store for those who, like myself, combine an appetite for information with easy distractability and a suckerness for visual presentations.
My main complaint about it, so far, is one I have for pretty much everything that thinks it knows what I want when it doesn’t. From Kristofer Mansson, Silobreaker CEO, on the company blog:
|…information overload will still be a problem and users will continue to ask for quicker and better ways of finding more relevant search results than what traditional search engines have been offering so far. Silobreaker was developed to meet exactly such growing user demand and the service brings meaning to news content through sense-making analytics and graphical search results.|
|Ultimately, it’s the value and relevance of the search result that matter and our goal is very simple; to deliver insight as a service.|
Here’s the thing. Most of the time I want to find my way to exactly what I want, and arrive at my own insights, thank you. What I need for that are tools that let me filter and drill down any way I like.
My problem from the beginning with all search engines is that they’re not tool-makers. While I want a box of tools with which I can make what I want, they’re like a construction company that constantly makes things for me, guessing at what I might want in the end.
For example, let’s say I want to find nothing but references to Yochai Benkler in blogs written in 2005. Google’s Advanced Search will let me narrow results through eight stretches of time going back to the last year. Not what I want. Google Blogsearch will let me do that, but only for blogs. (I dunno, but maybe it can only be done for blogs.)
My point is that I want search engines to act more like databases and less like AI. But we’ve been having these things doing educated guesswork for so long that we can hardly imagine anything else. In that respect Silobreaker is a welcome alternative.
What do the rest of ya’ll think about it?