No search engine since Google has been able to captivate me for more than a few seconds. But this morning I found one that I sorta kinda maybe liked. A bit. And that is huge news!
The service I am talking about is ManagedQ, a Palo Alto based startup company founded by engineers from Stanford. ManagedQ is officially in ‘deep stealth’ right now but apparently not THAT deep because anyone can use it.
ManagedQ is not a Search Engine, or so they say. They aspire to become the first Search Application. The difference? Well according to their blog “A Search Application is dedicated to helping you manage your entire Search Experience: from the keyword, to results, to previewing, to refinement and repeating with a new query”.
Their story is that regular search engines are not helping you much. It is simply a matter of entering a search query and getting a bunch of results spat back without any form of interaction beyond that. This makes the Search engines of today little more than front-ends to large databases. ManagedQ wants to guide you through the whole search process by showing you a large screenshot of every result from your query and then create an ‘Executive Summary’ of each link they found. Then they shows you Persons, Places and Things that are related to your query. By hovering over menus you see new results clustered around your query. This works amazingly well.
As Pete Warden (The guy who first discovered ManagedQ) describes:
Traditionally you do a search and then click through to the results pages, eyeballing each one for the information you want. If the results aren’t good enough, you’ll go back and refine your query, doing a complete new search.
With ManagedQ, you’ve suddenly got an interactive refinement stage that lets you poke and prod the result set and easily get a lot more information. You can instantly narrow your search by ignoring bad results that don’t contain terms you want, without throwing away all the others that could be interesting. You can get a quick feel for whether the results are worth exploring by throwing in good indicator terms that are likely to be in the ones you want.
So will I trade in Google for ManagedQ? Probably not. But I might use it to visualize connections between people, things and places connected to stuff.
UPDATE: I got a message from the management team at ManagedQ with some comments:
The reason we call ourselves a Search Application is because we actually run on top of Google. So you’re still getting the exact same Google results except with a radically improved Search Experience. So for all the Google users out there, you’re not going to suffer any reduction in Search quality, only a drastic improvement in the Search process.
Additionally, the back-end is modular so we can connect it to Yahoo, Powerset, enterprise search engines, or any combination of the above.
We know we’re still brand new to the game, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. But we are constantly improving ManagedQ and with the help of the community we’re going to have the best Search Product.
With some time Boris, we hope to win over all of your Searches. But for today, thank you for searching with ManagedQ.