yet another blog about computer, technology, programming, and internet

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scour - A Social Search Engine

Thursday, July 17, 2008 Posted by Ismail Habib 34 comments
Scour (currently in beta) is another web 2.0 hype tagged as "social search engine" intended to give user more authority to determine results from searching process. Scour aggregates result from Google, Yahoo, and MSN and combine them with the votes from users to decide the order of the results. Besides voting, Scour also allows users to leave comments for every search results. Sounds like another Digg? Another worth mentioning feature from Scour is the reward system. Users will get a certain number of points for every search or another contribution they make (voting, commenting, inviting friends). After several thousand of points, users are able to convert them into a visa gift card. While this pay-per-search idea is nothing new, I wonder if the social part of Scour will able to keep them surviving in the next few years given the fact that they will probably have to compete with Google (Google is developing their search engine with a similar idea to Scour, I bet without the reward system).

I have tried Scour for around three days now, and I'm sure they want to improve on several things (it's a beta anyway). Currently the results are limited to 3 pages no matter what keyword I use to do the searching. The search results are also lack of highlighting (updated: not anymore!). They have also included a browser-integrated search bar, which is good for me since I want to try it without having to change the way I use Google. However, every time I click on a search result a frame appeared in the bottom of the page which allowed the users to give vote or comment on the result (this frame didn't appear when I tried to open the search result on a new tab instead of clicking it). This might be a good way to encourage users to participate in the voting/commenting activities, but I found it a little bit annoying. Hopefully they will find a better way to do it.


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