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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is Cuil Really Cool?

So I named this talkcast Episode 66—“Cuil, a better search engine or an old-fashioned pen!” That was before I found out that Cuil was pronounced Cool and was nothing like Benjamin Franklin’s quill that he used to write, I guess more than Ben Franklin’s quill pen is archaic, I think Techno Granny may be too because in this case I just don’t see the sense of one more search engine.

Cuil (pronounced "cool") is a search engine that organizes web pages by content and displays a paragraph with thumbnail pictures for many results. It claims to have a larger index than any other search engine, with about 120 billion web pages. It went live on July 28, 2008.

Cuil's privacy policy states that it does not store records of users’ search activity or IP addresses.
Cuil is managed and developed largely by former employees of Google: Anna Patterson, Russell Power and Louis Monier. The CEO and co-founder, Tom Costello, has worked for IBM and others. The company raised $33 million from venture capital firms including to start the business.
Paraphrased from Wikipedia

Cuil or "Cool" is not Cool as far as Techno Granny is concerned. It claims to use different rules that are more relevant to real search and not just popularity but that “sexy” Russian Lady in a babushka dancing to Techno Music is still beating me out with her videos. If it were not for being listed on Zimbio and Zencast, I would not even have come up in my first search of even the Techno Granny Show. My first search did not even pick up TalkShoe, come on or Montana?!? So the Techno Granny thing is not just sour grapes.

Videos outstrip podcasts anyday in search ranking, so how is Cuil different? Let’s see, the Russian sexy senior citizen has one video that has been downloaded 100,000 times and I have 63 podcasts. What’s that tell you about the power of video and Cuil, very cooly claims that their search goes by different rules. Don’t think so!

Positively Pittsburgh Live, very concise look at what you are looking at but Hacking Live also comes up with Positivley Pittsburgh Live.
TalkShoe, on the other hand had several shoe stores in my first search and nothing about an audio host that has millions of users.

Carl Weisbrad of WDSL Library was on the line so I checked him out, nothing and he’s also a pretty prolific guy with shows on two networks, Talk Shoe and Blogtalk Radio and he is also a master with RSS feeds. What are the new cool rules for Cuil?

From the Cuil website: “Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.” Ah well, they did only just go live on July 28 and I am wrtiting this on August 4 so Techno Granny may soon eat her words.

But what did they spend 33 million dollars on. I did notice that by the end of the show the Search results looked a little better for Talk Shoe. Could they have used part of that money for Google Alerts Pro and “heard” me talking about them and gotten it together or am I just in the twi-light zone. The second on air search that I did on Talk Shoe, still had some shoe stores but had 5 references out of three columns about the REAL Shoe.

From the Cuil website: “Then we offer you helpful choices and suggestions until you find the page you want and that you know is out there. We believe that analyzing the Web rather than our users is a more useful approach, so we don’t collect data about you and your habits, lest we are tempted to peek.” Oh is that what they were doing, excuse me their internet crystal ball told them that a 58 year old granny didn’t want to buy shoes but wanted to check out a Podcasting site called Talk Shoe. Well, that’s what they would have one believe.

From the Cuil website: “Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge. For knowledge, ask Cuil.” Think they spent some of that 33 mil on a spiffy by-line from a Madison Avenue Ad Agency. No, they are nothing like Google, Ask or Yahoo!

Well you asked for it, before I did this show listeners were e-mailing me and calling me about how Cool it would be for Techno Granny to scoop Cuil, so I did and I may “hide” that podcast after a while but in the meantime, what in the world do Eco Shoes (walking Shoes), Wooden Shoe Books and Records, Ontario Shoe Travelers Association and a Shoe made of Garbage, Niki Trash Talk have to do with our beloved TalkShoe ?

By the way a recent article in PC Magazine agreed with me that many searches on rather common items such as States either yielded nothing or were irrelevant. Guess that’s what happens when you go to a party and the fun people haven’t arrived yet. If you leave early because no one is there, you could miss all the fun! So Techno Granny is going to go back and check it out after the party gets going a little better.

You can listen to the actual talkcast on this topic at:

Just in case I decide to claim this blog at some later date:
This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, TEchno Granny Show 412-628-5048
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