Librarians like to search, everyone else likes to find. – Roy Tenant
I fall into that first category and I don’t just like to search, I love it. It used to be easy for me. After years of directories, metacrawlers, and search engines with limited indexes, there was Google. Almost immediately, I abandoned everything else and started googling everything. You probably did too.
Google was hot for a lot time. They still continue to innovate and release new technology, but it’s hard to get excited about Google anymore. Don’t get me wrong, if I could only use one search engine, I’d definitely choose Google. But, it’s fun to have options.
There’s been talk about Bing. I have a dislike for all things Microsoft. They don’t get me and I don’t get them. My visits to Bing have not impressed me, so if you like it, please let me know why.
Moving on to a fun one: hunch.com. This is not a good place to look up a specific quote, but if you want to find a professional quote for a presentation, it will suggest some. Hunch encourages you to tell it more and more about yourself by rating it’s suggestions and through a quiz-like search interface. The first time I used it, I was floored by how quickly it seemed to know me. It’s like Amazon’s suggestion system, but for more than products. It told me which English Premiership team I should become a fan of and Tottenham looks promising.
I wrote about Twitter search a few days ago. I like Twitter because the results are directly from other people. Discovering people with similar interests or getting a wide variety of opinions on a topic is great.
Wolfram Alpha is very cool. It’s search results are tables and graphs. You can see weather trends where you live, use it to solve equations, or look up a word. Check this out for “find.” I remember the demo being very cool and I haven’t spent a lot of time with it, but I like knowing it’s around.
Dopplr will keep track of your travel and tell you about cities you’re going to visit. So instead of googling Austin, you can check out the places other users have been. And if the city you’re going to has Yelp, give that a try too.
Need something to wear and don’t want to have to search multiple online retailers? You can try like.com and shop visually. It really came in useful for finding shoes to go with a dress I was wearing to a wedding this Spring. I also remember another similar search engine, but can’t remember it’s name.
You can use Shazam to find out the name of a song that’s playing. You can use Retrievr to find pictures and images that are like something you sketch. You can even use Go2Web20 to search for more Web 2.0 search engines.