Jan 142009

UPDATE: MelZoo appears to have failed, like many search engines before it.

This is an interesting new search engine.  It’s called MelZoo and it offers a split screen.  As you mouse over the text results on the left side of the pane, a preview of each site appears in the right side of the pane. We found the speed to be quite good on a broadband connection.

MelZoo split screen search engine

Jul 292008

There’s a new search engine in town called Cuil and pronounced ‘cool’.  Started by some Google principals who broke away from the company, it boasts a lot more pages in its database.  It does have an interesting fresh look, and I certainly liked the results when I put in parameters such as ‘network consulting services, denver, co’, ‘network consultants, denver, co’, and so on.

The quirky thing about Cuil is the thumbnail pictures it displays besides each entry.  On one search you might be confronted with a group of marchers carrying a peace sign, and on another you might see a company logo that is unfamiliar to you and has nothing to do with the company being listed.

It will be interesting to see how the market shakes out (few challengers are successful), but it’s worth a try on your next search.

UPDATE:  Cuil was online for a little over two years, but shut down in 2010.

May 292008

I happen to think that RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is one of the coolest things since paper towels.  It’s a way to gather all your websites and blogs into one place instead of jumping from site to site and trying to remember to visit sites that aren’t updated very often.  A picture is worth 1000 words, so here is a screenshot of an RSS program:

RSS Reader gathers all your interests into one program

The above reflects a default screen with all the interests listed.  I’ll delete many of those when I configure it to my persoal tastes.  The point is, when you see a headline and summary that you think might interest you, simply click the headline and if you like, the article appears right inside the reader like so:

Keeping it neat: gathering all your interests in one place with RSS

With a really good RSS reader, you can configure and customize the settings 6 ways from Sunday.

I’ve tried several different readers, but my first choice has been and still is NewsGator FeedDemon.  I started with it many years ago and still like it.  They keep evolving and improving it and it is very configurable.  I tried the reader that you can access on Google and really didn’t find it to my tastes, but you can jump in where ever you want.

I think you’ll see the advantages to RSS with most any flavor of reader that you select.

UPDATE:  FeedDemon is no longer a product of NewsGator; the author sells the program directly.  It is still my favorite RSS Reader and I highly recommend it.  You can download the Free version and if you decide to unlock some of the features of the Pro version, you can purchase the program.  After purchase, just enter the activation code to unlock the Pro features.

May 052008

A good RSS reader and subscribing to some key RSS feeds is a great way to skim headlines and keep up with the news/blogs/information that you’re interested in.

Enter Twitter.  Some websites are using Twitter in addition to RSS feeds.  If you like short messages (limit 140 characters) that can follow you on your mobile devices, then this is a way to keep up on the go.

Billed as a way to keep in touch between blog entries and e-mail, it is mainly targeted at the Facebook social networking crowd, but it’s an interesting way to keep up to date without an RSS Reader.