Cool Tech Reviews

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November 15, 2006

Add a Blinkx audio video wall to your website

I’m always a sucker for a Web gadget and Blinkx, the audio and video search site, has a neat one:

The above is a “wall” which previews the audio and video results of searching for “Zune” at Blinkx. They encourage web site owners to embed such walls on their sites and the wall is resizeable and updates continuously. I’m not sure how Blinkx makes enough money to support this, but it’s certainly interesting.

This seems to be yet another example of the rapidly growing arena of Web “widgets” which a variety of publishers are providing for various reasons of their own. I previously mentioned the Google gadgets which fall into the same category.

Posted at 9:51 pm. Filed under Blinkx, Companies, Internet, Internet Search, Software, Web Applications, Web Design, Web site, Web software, Widgets

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February 27, 2006

AskJeeves dumps the “fat butler”

Shelley Solheim at InfoWorld:

Search engine has rebranded itself as, ditched its namesake butler icon and added several new search tools in an effort to woo more users, Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive officer of Ask Jeeves’ parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp announced Monday.

“It needed not be any radical change, we just needed to drop some baggage,” Diller said in his keynote address Monday at the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo in New York.

In addition to losing what Diller referred to as the “fat butler,” streamlined its Web site with a new “non-cluttered” look and added a right-hand sidebar for searching different sources — such as images, weather, dictionaries, and local sources — that officials say enables “search on speed dial.”

That seems a little harsh – Jeeves was about the only reason to head over to AskJeeves, although admittedly not a big reason for me or most others:

According to the latest data compiled by comScore Networks, Ask Jeeves only gets about 6.5 percent of total search queries. Google was the most used search engine in the U.S. in November, followed by Yahoo, Microsoft’s MSN and America Online.

We’ll see if dumping the “fat butler” makes any difference, but I expect it’s one more descent on the downward spiral for

Posted at 4:29 pm. Filed under Internet, Internet Search

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February 5, 2006

Search engine rewards users with free ads

It’s not quite as good as Bill Gates’ paying search engine users, but it’s a start. John Ribeiro at InfoWorld:

Start-up Cosmodex launched a new search engine on Thursday that aims to attract users by rewarding them with loyalty points.

The points can be redeemed for free Web traffic directed at a site of the user’s choosing, the company said. The system will help bloggers and owners of small Web sites to generate traffic even if they don’t have an advertising budget, the company said.

Cosmodex, of Montrose, California, sees itself as an Internet superhero, “fighting against search engine villains who are overcharging advertisers.”

Registration at the site,, is free.

It’s an interesting idea and, of course, they will also be happy to sell you advertising as well. The real trick will be to match the major search engines in search quality and draw users. They don’t seem to be doing too badly with the first (although they need to work on relevance ordering) and only time will tell on the latter.

Posted at 10:28 am. Filed under Internet, Internet Search

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