Katherine Boehret at the Wall Street Journal wrote this week’s The Mossberg Solution column, which will appear in tomorrow’s print edition, entitled “Web Searches That Really Bear Fruit.” The subject, two “new free tools [that] aim to make online results more relevant by tracking your reactions,” is Google’s SearchWiki and Surf Canyon.
We are naturally thrilled to be sharing a such prominent column with a company we esteem so highly. Here are some excerpts:
“[SearchWiki and Surf Canyon] don’t necessarily compete against each other; in fact, they can be used in tandem. But after initially entering a search query, SearchWiki requires additional work on the part of the user that many people may not want to do. Surf Canyon works automatically as you go, sorting results according to real-time user behavior.
If you like the idea of more personalized Web searches but would like to use other search engines or don’t want to do extra work, you might like Surf Canyon.
Google’s SearchWiki is asking users to do extra work, which may not be practical for many users. But if you do use it, this tool’s personalized, saved results could be a real boon. Surf Canyon worked well for me with multiple search engines, retrieving data from result pages I likely wouldn’t have opened. Either way, your days of futile Web searching are numbered.”
The real-time implicit personalization offered by Surf Canyon and the real-time explicit personalization offered by SearchWiki are both compatible and complimentary. You don’t have to pick one or the other when you can have both!
Update (1/14/09) – Katherine Boehret added a video. Here is what she had to say at the 3m20s mark:
“At the end of the day, Google SearchWiki makes you do a lot of work. It might be beneficial for some people who want to save their searches, but Surf Canyon works with you as you go, on the fly. It works automatically and doesn’t make you do anything extra other than what you’re already doing.”