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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I want it and I want it NOW!

The other day I was having dinner with a friend, who confessed that sometimes when his order (in this case drink) takes longer than 5 minutes to arrive, he gets restless. He happily blamed it on the “nowism” triggered by the Internet while I hastily googled the AAA’s contact details.

Needless to say, “nowism” stuck in my head. There was an evermore-ism period too - the need for everything being satisfied in numerous novel ways, with (wait for it) the online world showing the way forward. Then we wanted everything possible. The biggest search database, the biggest discount site for everything, the biggest blogroll, the biggest features on Facebook. And we got it. Now what?

It seems like the crowd has slowly started chanting another wish – hear closely - that is (right) now/current/real-time. You’ll see “real-time” and “instantly” making an increasing appearance in articles. We want it now. Instant gratification. The digital equivalent of Freud’s Ego.

'Coz in the rapidly expanding online world, instant gratification is even easier to obtain: 'digital' has become synonymous with 'instant'. Furthermore, if something digital/online is too slow, the alternative is just a click away - as opposed to walking out and finding another restaurant, my dinner friend reasoned.

Everything digital – twitter, real-time news, online shopping etc are encouraging this relentless pursuit of instant information, communications, pleasure, if not indulgences. En passant reducing the ‘now’ to mere seconds, if not micro-seconds.

Not search though.

Most online searches still end with the blue links. Almost like handing the baton over to you…as if it were your duty to continue search in real(human)time. That just takes hours. Right?!

Yolink reacts to search needs in microseconds and with an everism – finding and highlighting every required detail in instantly gratifying previews for the right information NOW. No more patient research. We don’t lead you to treasure island, throw you a shovel and say dig. We actually bring you to treasure and give you a bag (read google docs) to save it, email and social media to share it instantly and anything else you could possibly want in real time.

I remember watching as my friend’s order got bungled by the amateur waiter and took 10 minutes to arrive. My friend mumbling – God, I need patience, and I need it now.
sounded oddly prophetic. Cheers to that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Click, Click. Bang, bang.

Any of you out there who were grad assistants? I recall when I was a research assistant and had the inglorious task of grading papers that were turned in. In one word – purgatory. Quite mirroring my experience with search engines when it comes to detailed search.

The search industry is more about misses than perfect hits when it comes to detailed searches. Have you ever looked at those blue links? Google and its Goslings. (pun unintended) Line-after-line of heart-burn inducing blue links… not created equal. Should I explain how that worked out? Nope, you know the drill, keep clicking until you strike gold.

And it’s a problem that growing more and more visible. Google’s change of layout in over 8-10 (?) years is a sure-fire sign. And this sudden gold rush can be seen with each claiming to have the best search tools. I am hoping that the tools are not another take on Letterman’s Q&A session. Sorry, but it ain’t making me feel lucky.
I do love some of them – aardvark, duckduckgo and yolink among others. Aardvark treats all questions equally, subjecting to our vast common sense. Yolink treats all blue links equally, subjecting them to contextual scans and bringing back the best paragraphs for you. Comprende?

Both give you answers on a platter. Coz unlike a buffet of only blue links to dig into, this is way more fun.

Search is to be developed to make it available as a service rather than a work. Caffeine or no caffeine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

GOOGLE GOES UNDER THE KNIFE!

By now there’s probably no one who has missed Google’s plastic surgery. Except maybe China. The new Google redesign invokes in me a myriad of opinions, but neither of them really positive about the change. So many search engines running behind the objective of improving user search experience with interface. Big Honk – wrong memo guys.

Google and its goslings (uniform blue links) need better tools than a face lift. And answering questions to make precision part of its search isn’t my idea of instant. Maybe it needs Betty White or yolink. See “From Golden Girl To It Girl: Betty White Has Become Marketing Magic.”

Historically, change is either widely accepted or people simply come around. Herd mentality, short-term memory. Pick one. 'Coz right now we don’t have much of a say, like to untag ourselves from this new search interface. And a lot of us are doing the whole “We need to talk” bit, like me blogging about it.

But Google gods are pleading for users to work with them on this one. Here’s Googler, Rubie, in the Google Web Search Help forum responding to one complaint in a long but somewhat funny manner.

"It pains me to witness the tragic unraveling of a technological love affair... but I still think there's hope for your relationship. I, too, was shocked by the new Google search results page when I first saw it. Where had my beautifully textured G-O-O-G-L-E gone? And who invited Left-Nav to the party? It was like my mom had changed her cheesy potatoes recipe and ruined Thanksgiving forever. Nevertheless, out of respect for the Google, as my friends like to call it, I gave it a whirl….
….I understand if you recall with longing another time with a different Google results page, but Google is not ready to give up on its relationship with you. You're free to search wherever you like, but know that Google will be always be waiting for your return."


Well, Google’s banished to the couch for the time being. But the recent change of “scene” makes me dig in my stilettos and say again, something big is happening to search, to content. To user search experience. And I for one will be waiting to see how the interface graduates into better user experience.

Look out for the signs people, for change is coming. And about time too.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SEARCH ENGINES - An Inconvenient Truth

Sometimes a search engine just won't do. Do anything to save you time from searching for 'the' right answer from the million of little blue links that pop-up like weeds. And 'most of us will readily exchange a few kilowatts of accuracy for several hours of additional investigation'.

Because clutter is something that we put up with, the way we put up with bad governments, global warming and often the purgatory office coffee. Not me. Not anymore. I mean, put up with global warming or clutter.

Like most people, for me the buck stopped at wearing a green t-shirt. But then I started working for a company, that like me is genuine about wanting to do the right thing, TigerLogic. They had yolink - a little search prodigy - green to its last links and associations.

The idea was simple. Let's weed out the search results and also give people the opportunity to save more than just time. By tying up with Google Docs, Evernote, Diigo, Del.i.cious and more, the 'yolink save green community' was growing with the best. So in a small, yet big way, the savvy searcher was saving time,information and the paper.

Perhaps a better reference would be Jon Stewart, talking to Gore about the latter's new book: "I took this course over the weekend, read through the book, learned an awful lot... still don't know what to do... Even if you are, as I am, someone who believes the science, just because if I see something in print it must be true, but I believe, ok, the world is warming... surely human activity must have an impact on the world. There are 6 billion of us and, you know, many of us live in paved areas, so of course... But it seems like we won't change, you know; we didn't switch from horses until we got cars. I almost feel like, when you say we have all these different choices we can do... just give us one. Just say, 'We're switching to geothermal and we're doing it tomorrow and here's how we're doing it..." Sometimes, we forget that the big picture is actually comprised of small pixels. We are each tools for making a difference.

So yea. There are atleast 3 billion of us on search engines, everyday. And if each one of us just said, "hell yea, we're switching to yolink 'save and share' and we are doing it today.Now. Can you count the number of trees you just saved?

Think. 'Coz right now, wasting just won't do. Keep that green shirt on folks, and click here to save a tree.

Until later, green out folks!

Search.Find.Create.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can we make search Green?

Recently Mama Nature has been creating havoc. Looking at the situation at hand, I did some yolinking and realized that in the matter of 2 months, we had 3 earthquakes over 7.0 on the Richter Scale, couple of freeloading tsunamis, one big Euro storm and as of right now, freak land-slides that wiped out four entire villages in Uganda. Yes four entire communities – the old, young and the smart. Gone. Someone please call Al gore and find out who the hell slipped up.

Not to mention the snow storms battering our east-coastians. Are we misreading the little signs? Maybe the real and the digital worlds are not that far apart. Earth, like search engines, is a big body of information. But weeding out the wrong information, and to get to what we are looking for isn’t simple.

In case of search engines, Yolink usually scans and highlights all the search keywords within the neighborhood of a paragraph. Then presents it as a preview to us. EX: You could choose – ‘Scan –links’ and ‘find – earthquakes history global warming freak weather’. I would throw in ‘Al Gore’ as a search keyword for good measure and see what results I get.

And I get to the right information from links scanned in a matter of minutes. We got digital covered. But M.Nature has the information links embedded in that large body we call ‘world’. Searching those is not easy.

We have got to start paying attention. What are you doing in your bit for the world? I, for one, use yolink’s online 'save and share'. Meaning, I utilize Google Docs and Evernote integrations to save my information, instead of printing pages of this and that.

I don’t know about you, but one thing about the Chinese is that they’re usually brilliant in their calculations. And that 2012 thing seems ominously real.
So while we are trying to figure out the world, lets keep it green people. Lets keep it green.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Secrets to finding the right car.


Buying the right car for the right price is as scary as finding an address without a GPS. You need loads of knowledge, and if you’re like me, a Bridget Jones stuck in a Tokyo Drift storyline, yolink is the best route out of ignorance. Plus lots of that 2nd opinion, never hurts.

I ventured into searching online for cars, a little after I got to San Jose. And instantly there were way too many distractions – that hot Red Mini Cooper, the swaggering Mustang, the cute BMW or the fast-n-furious Mazda. I was hooked.

My car experts thought I needed to check my cost blind spot. So I did. When you yolink and get a look at the cost estimate for maintenance of those pretty things, you’ll literally hit the brakes and take a u-turn. So, now I got a whole NEW list of cars that are low maintenance, yet sauvĂ©, durable and ready for a mean little driver.Honda, Toyota, Corollas suddenly kicked butt. But here are the questions I asked myself when it came down to the dirt road.

The Big Q: Did I want to lease it or buy it?
More tips


• Manual or automatic transmission?
• Do you really need four-wheel drive? Or all-wheel drive?
• What safety features do you want?
• Two-door or four-door?
• Do you have a bad back and need flexible seating positions?
• Will the car easily fit in your garage or parking space? Will it fit 5 people?

Done answering. Now search was flat, straight road again, or so I thought. Craigslist.com and Cars.com were recommended sites. So I get there, include the details - what kind of car, which year, which make. And hit search. Whooops! Didn’t see 20 pages of cars coming straight at me. So here is the secret ‘N’ (Nitrous) code to rev up search. I included my wish list – power locks, four-door, civic and black (a little indulgence never hurt). Then hit yolink.

Amazing ‘find’ acceleration and I zoomed past results to narrow down to 32 cars in 40 mins from 20 pages.Do the math. Thirty-two cars that fit exactly what I wanted.

Now for that very important 2nd opinion. So instead of the CCP(cut,copy,paste) to dump information onto a word document, I one-clicked it and saved the data on google docs. Then sent it directly to my friends for their expert opinion. Let’s see what they approve. Then we start to test-drive.

Until later, don’t forget those seat belts.
And keep yolink-ing
. And if you guys have any recommendations for a good car, leave a comment.

Cheers!
Renee

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How did i get here O'search engine?


I recently came across a very interesting article in MediaPost by Laurie Sullivan titled – “Did you mean this when you searched for that?” Yes. I have searched for this and ended up with that/them/there and everything else under the sun.

And I realized that searching like realty is all about ‘location, location, location’. If the results are located in the top two search pages, the chances are that everyone will open every little result. But that was before yolink.

Let me explain. Like so many of my predecessors who relocated from East Coast to the West Coast, I stepped out of SJO expecting loads of sunshine, mad traffic and little time searching for that Home Sweet Home. The only thing that I scored on was ‘little time searching’ and ‘traffic.’

Yes, ‘little time searching’ actually scored over sunshine. Because I yolink’d it. Like most movers, I searched apartments.com, craigslist.com, roommates.com etc. And was simply bombarded with gazillions of townhouses, apartments, condos, houses, haunted houses and even a trailer. So I took cover with yolink.

Using the terms ‘pool, gated parking, cafĂ©, safe, Santana row’, I did a yolink search. Instantly the craigslist results dropped from 45 to 12. The ones I liked based on previews that yolink offered, I proceeded save them online. I created a google doc called ‘SJ apartment’ and sent it to my WC friends to get their opinion on the locations. I got some great advice and within 5 days I had seen and signed the dotted line. Peace ensued in the search zone.

Can you think of a metaphor for yolink? I’d liken yolink to a GPS for search. You can enter your key-terms and it’ll show you where those results are, giving details such as area (content) and proximity, in which the keywords appear. So instead of driving around, you can get to the right place at the right time. For me it was home.
Talking about GPS reminds me I got to start yolink-ing for a car. Until next time, seek and yolink shall find. No more searching for this and ending up with that. (www.yolink.com)

Bonus: Tips on moving to san jose:
Best areas: Cupertino, Santana Row, Mountain View, Castro Street (food), Willow Glen, Sunnyvale, Las Gatos.
Avoid: SJ North, parts of Campbell, Milipitas. Burbank.