Archived entries for Search

Analyze HTTP Headers and Smart Keyword Search with Firefox

There are several good ways to check out a file’s HTTP headers. Tonight I was using http://www.forret.com/projects/analyze/, which is just a simple web form that you enter your URL into.

I know there are more snazzy ways, including Firefox’s great extension LiveHTTPHeaders, but sometimes an always-available web page is a fine solution. And, while I totally love the ability to extend and modify Firefox with the ever-growing supply of extensions, I’ve been trying to keep my browser as lean as possible by only installing ones I really need. For services that require a query to be submitted — a map request, dictionary lookup, feed subscription or web search — I’ve been opting lately to set up Keyword Search in Firefox (as I described several months ago).

(In addition to having less extensions, I find it’s just significantly faster to trigger these actions form the keyboard.)

With a few keyword shortcut’s set up, my hands are liberated from the mouse to the efficiency and speed of the keyboard. My browser begins to resemble a command line interface. In addition to my newest, headers http://www.yahoo.com, I use these others constantly:

sub http://natek.typepad.com
subscribed to a feed — fastest possible way to subscribe to an rss feed with bloglines (please don’t ruin bloglines Ask!)
ys northern california hiking trails
returns Yahoo Search results page — 100s of times a day.
wiki Thomas Frank
returns Wikipedia encyclopedia entry — lots of info types are best answered by an encyclopedia
map [[701 N First Ave, 94089]
returns a Yahoo Maps — always need for a map
dic efficiency
returns dictionary.com definition
the excitement
returns thesaurus.com entry
by natek
returns my company’s intranet (backyard) results — for looking up coworkers
amaz Talib Kweli
returns Amazon search results — to grab a book cover or album track listing
imdb War of the Worlds
returns an Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB) search
how to change your car's oil
returns detailed instructions from ehow.com
techno mobilemonday.com
returns blogosphere info on who’s talking about http://www.mobilemonday.com/ right now?

Did you notice the ones for Bloglines (sub)? It’s great. I am generally motivated to subscribe to some feed while in the midst of being excited or engaged by the content. This time of highest engagement is the time when you least want to interrupt the session to go subscribe — this shortcut allows me to nearly-instantly subscribe in the heat on the moment.

(In case you’re curious, I was looking at headers tonight to verify that the file expiration dates were distant, so that the files would be cached by the client until then.)

“Search and SEE the Yellow Pages with a9″

I’ve been meaning to comment on this, but haven’t quite got around to it. As a service to my dear readers, I’ll just rip Gary’s content, so please show him some love and go read it over there (then come back!).

If you haven’t checked out the “just released” new yellow pages from Amazon.com’s a9 you really should. It’s very cool. In a nutshell, a9 have already taken more than 20 million street-level photos (what a9 calls block views) of each and every establishment in yellow page directories for 10 U.S. metro area and associated these images with each entry. You can even virtually walk entire blocks. It will be a real attention getter for a9 and perhaps, even useful! It’s a must see for everyone but it’s far from complete at this point. You can also browse/search the yellow page directory via this url.

Again, check out Gary’s wonderful ResourceShelf.

(I’ll add that this isn’t a new idea — several European sites already offer this functionality, and a company I can’t recall used to have 360 Quicktime’s of every intersection in New York, way back in ‘99 or 2000 (please leave a comment if you remember the name of that site.)

SMS Clipping with Yahoo! Local Search

Send search results to your phone from your desktop.

Yahoo! Local released a new search feature today, allowing you to quickly send clips of search results to you phone via a free SMS text message. You can do this directly from the search results page – no page reload necessary. It couldn’t be easier:

Here’s how:

From the front page of Yahoo!, click the “Local” tab to toggle the search box, and enter a local search. (Or use http://local.yahoo.com directly.) Search for anything you’d find in a yellow pages, or anything with an address. All your saved addressed from Y!Maps and other Y! sites should be available as locations to search around.

local-1

From the search results page (SRP), click “Send to Phone” to send the listing to your phone. It’s sent via SMS I think.

local-2

The Send interface is straight forward, and let’s you enter a phone number, or select a previously used or saved mobile number. (It seems to default to whatever number you’ve registered with http://mobile.yahoo.com, though that step isn’t necessary.)

local-3

From the standard SRP view, you can click “View Results on Map” to see them graphically displayed around your search location. (Viewing results on a map is great, and also lets you quickly find nearby parking, ATMs, restaurants — even nearby public restrooms.)

local-4

From this map view, click any of the numbered representations for more information, and the option to “Send to Phone”.

local-5

Enter the recipient phone number in the same manner as from the SRP list view.

local-6

The resulting message looks something like this:

pt_localstp_silh_lg_2

Give it a shot, it’s pretty good. (And if you haven’t played with Local search, this is the perfect opportunity.)

Congrats to my friends Chris and Jason, who were both involved with the webdev work on this.

Update: Gary Price at Search Engine Watch has an entry on this now.

Yahoo! Desktop Search Launched

Yahoo! Desktop Search launched this morning (via). YDS is based on X1, which until now has been an $80 to $100 piece of software. I’ve been using X1 since January or February 2004, and it’s great. As I wrote in a testimonial last March 5th,:

It’s wonderful, and will change how you think about your information. … It doesn’t matter where the message is, you can always find what you want in … 2 seconds. … I’ve recommended it to everybody I know and work with. Find any email in about 2 seconds.

This product is terrific, and only has competition from Copernic as far as I’m concerned. Once YDS is extended to search the all the user’s content on the Yahoo! network, in addition to the desktop and web, then it will have no peers. (Yes yes, those are famous last words.)

Why is it so good?

Unlike some of the other desktop search tools out there, YDS indexes over 200 file types. Uniquely, it provides instant previews of all of them — with your search terms highlighted — right within the program. It does this for .doc, .mp3, .pdf, .gif, .ppt, .xls and many more.

Beyond those “technical specs”, the interface and overall experience set it above the crowd. YDS does not use the Web Search model (single search box) for the desktop like several other products on the market. Instead, it provides many search boxes so you can narrow by date, file size, sender, folder, or any other contextually-relevant field with blazing speed. Also, unlike web queries that don’t return results until you submit a search, YDS returns and updates the result set after each letter you type. Believe me, it makes a big difference.

Go download your free copy and let me know what you think. Read more at the Yahoo! Search Blog, or explore the blogosphere.

2014 EPIC – The Future of Online [Media]

Go watch this flash movie right now. (Or the first time you have 8 free, it doesn’t have a pause button.).

It’s the history of the media wars, with a dateline of 2014. What happens with Google, Amazon, Blogger, Microsoft, Friendster and TiVo play together? What happens when search, news, shopping, social networks, blogging, camera phones, recommendations, filtering, archiving, the long tail, and everything else that’s ALREADY in motion congeals?

Remember that feeling you got when you “got it” in the first Matrix movie? I got that feeling watching this. Remember that feeling you got when you actually realized that scale of the Internet, and what it will eventually enable?

Go watch it.

It’s not clear how you’re supposed to feel when it’s over. Sounds pretty cool. Sounds pretty scary. Come back here and leave some comments after you’ve watched it. Technorati lets you monitor it as it spreads across the Web.

(I guess this was on metafilter in mid November, but it’s new to me today.)

10 Cents

I was catching up on my blog reading this morning with coffee and was stunned to read that “Google gets nearly a dime for every search it serves in the US”. To be precise, it’s actually about 9 cents per US search on Google (up 8.3% this quarter). To borrow a phrase mysteriously attributed to the late Senator Everett Dirksen: “A click here, a click there, petty soon, you’re talking about real money.”

Another interesting stat from John Battelle’s Searchblog coverage (of this research), is that on average Google commands 54 cents per ad. In other words, advertisers (bid and) pay Google 54 cents on average for each click. This is commonly known as CPC, or Cost Per Click. I stress on average because the spectrum of CPC prices can be pretty extreme: Obscure, hard-to-monetize words command only a cent or two at CPC auction, while highly prized words, especially those in competitive deep-pocket industries easily command several dollars. It’s fairly obvious that the toe jam industry would pay significantly less to run an ad alongside “toe jam” that the big-bucks airline industry would pay for “airline tickets”?



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