Scour Combines Top Three Search Engines, Pays You

10 08 2008

A recently introduced search engine by the name of Scour has surfaced and I, personally, am a fan. The first thing you may notice when you enter a search are the small icons next to each result with the Google, Yahoo! and MSN logos and a number next to each. This indicates the “rank” on each search engine. So for example, below, you can see that there is a 1 next to the Google logo. The “1” indicates that if you were to search the same phrase in Google, it would turn that link up as the first result. This is a great feature that helps to weed out the poor links and give you the best results from all of the main search engines. You also have the option to show the results as they would appear in each search engine separately, leaving almost no excuse not to use this as an alternative to your current engine.

Another feature used to help weed out the poor results is a voting system. Next to each result and the footer of each clicked result you have the option to give the page a thumbs up or a thumbs down. It is also optional to leave a comment as to why it was a good/bad site. After enough votes, the listings will move down in rank, placing the relevant ones where they should be, according to the users. When using Scour, you can read comments left by other users about websites based on your keyword. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of looking for the right link.

The way that Scour encourages you to vote and comment is by using a points system. If you sign up with Scour (it’s free and optional) you will receive one point for each search, two points for a vote and three points for leaving a comment. They also allow referral points where you receive 25% of the points they make. Once you achieve 6,500 points, Scour will send you a $25 Visa gift card.

They also have browser search plugins for Firefox and IE with Opera arriving soon; start page search widgets for Netvibes, Pageflakes and iGoogle (all arriving soon); and Desktop search widgets for Windows, OS X and Yahoo! Widgets (all arriving soon).

I honestly can find no good reason as to why not to use this browser as an alternative. If I don’t like the “Scour” results, I can change it to Google, Yahoo! or MSN-only results while being paid. I honestly can’t think of a better way of attracting users to a search engine than this.

The link for Scour is here.


Rejaw – Can It Stand Out In the Crowd?

8 08 2008

What is Rejaw, you ask? It is another (yes, another) micro-blogging web site that competes against the likes of Twitter and Pownce – but this one has a couple tricks up its sleeve.

For one, it offers live messaging – no need to refresh the page here. This feature is killer for me, because I always found it annoying that I couldn’t just glance at the page every now and then, I’d have to refresh the entire page. When used, it reminds me a lot like instant messaging because of the instant feedback, which is both good and bad. It’s good because it allows for quick and seamless discussions between people. It’s bad because I can imagine some people using it as an IM client, with tons of messages back and forth, so you would end up receiving parts of their conversation if you are following them – a problem not faced by its other micro-blogging competitors. But honestly, that’s not really that bad of a situation, it just makes things a bit crazier. I can deal.

Another plus of Rejaw is that it has it’s own app (currently only for OS X, pictured above) called “RejawRadar”, which is well designed and simplistic. Its also nice that I don’t have to keep my browser open to see updates from people. It even integrates with Growl, making it seem very close to an actual instant messaging application. (Desktop apps obviously contradict my “refreshing issue” argument in the previous argument, but not everyone wants a desktop app.)

Also, you are able to quickly and easily find contacts that you may have on Facebook or Gmail. Unfortunately, as of current, I am the first of my friends to get it. I hope that soon changes, and plan to get a few others to try it in the near future.

Finally, the ability to have a simple reply area makes it a whole lot easier for me, personally. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just never liked the way Twitter and others have their reply system with things like “@username” and such. The way Rejaw implements it seems much more comprehensible to my brain for some reason.

In the end, would I recommend it? Most definitely. The only reason I might even consider anywhere else would be for the larger user database. But keep in mind, Rejaw is an up-and-coming service. Heck, it doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page yet! I sincerely hope this service grows and I have no doubt that it will.

Two thumbs up! 😀

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