I foolishly scheduled a phone demo immediately after the Inauguration on Tuesday with a company —Searchme.com — that is bravely taking on Google.com by starting up an online search company.
I was giddy-excited from watching the Inauguration on CNN with my Facebook friends and having trouble settling down for a serious conversation. So I had more than a professional amount of fun in this phone conference. But after I was done ribbing the CEO â€“ Randy Adams — about the hubris of taking on Google, he patiently walked me through why he thinks there is room for another way to search. The main point? Visuals.
Okay, so by the end of the conversation, I was thinking, “Hey! This is pretty cool.”
I don’t think Searchme.com will replace Google anytime soon but it is definitely a fun way to search the Net. Google is amazing at returning relevant searches, something the company has spent a lot of time (and money) perfecting. Searchme.com is better for more common searches â€“ such as the one your kid is doing for that school project — that the company has had time (it’s still in a public Beta) to optimize rather than for ego surfing, which requires a lot of on-the-fly optimization. (Results on ego surfing improve if you put quotes around your name.)
But Searchme brings a whole lot of engaging pretty to your daily search for information.
If you have ever tried to explain to a kid — who may have only mastered reading in the last year or so — how to sift through the returns on a Google search, you will love the way this works. Instead of a page of results with a text description, your search returns an album of pictures to flip through. Enter your search criteria and click on the Videos tab and you find yourself flipping through moving images. Search with the music tab to flip through sounds. And you definitely want to check out the shopping tab if you are on a hunt for something. Very cool.
Randy told me this was the “future of search,” which I’m afraid elicited some giggling from post-inauguration, giddy me. (If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a phrase like that in the last 15 yearsâ€¦.) But he may be on to something. As the Web embraces multimedia, so should searching through it.
Randy was very good-natured about my teasing. He’s also a serious player in high-tech. According to Anne Marie, his PR representative (also on the call), “He helped Yahoo! secure its initial funding and later served on the company’s Board of Directors. He went on to found the Internet Shopping Network, the very first Internet shopping site. Later he originated the eBay drop-off store concept with a company called AuctionDrop. And he is also the co-founder of the web’s most popular comedy video site, Will Ferrell’s Funnyordie.com.”
So check out his cool new search tool. Here’s a nifty widget so you can do it right from here: