This week’s 4cast:
1. Ask Goes 3D (Funny Glasses Not Required)
Does any other search engine stand even a remote chance of becoming as popular as Google? Many users (librarians included) point to Ask.com, which just unveiled a major redesign that some are hailing as the next great, evolutionary step in search.
- Ask Relaunches as Search Takes a Turn (Wired)
- Ask Relaunches: Now “Ask 3D” (Search Engine Land)
- Radically New Ask.com (PC World’s Techlog)
- New Ask.com UI Gives 20%+ More User Satisfaction (Read/WriteWeb)
2. What’s That Search Engine Got That This One Don’t?
Of course, Ask.com and the other “second-tier” search engines are fighting an uphill battle. Not only does Google have deeper reserves, but they’re also entrenched to the point that many searchers aren’t even aware of the alternatives.
- Product loyalty: consumers mistake familiarity with superiority (Ars Technica)
- Insight Into Google’s Search Quality Efforts (Search Engine Land)
- Tired of the Same Old Search Engine? (Stephen’s Lighthouse)
- Better searching without Google (Phil Bradley’s weblog)
3. Please Sir, Might We Digitize Some of Your Manuscripts?
Microsoft’s Live Search Books has been in beta since December, but only recently began adding still-in-copyright content from a slew of major publishers. The difference between them versus Google Book Search or Amazon’s Search Inside the Book? Why, Microsoft asked permission!
- Live Search Books: Now with In-Copyright Content (Live Search’s Weblog)
- More Content Being Added to Microsoft Live Book Search, Don’t Forget… (Resource Shelf)
- Microsoft Live Books Improves (The Reflective Librarian)
- Microsoft adds copyrighted books to Live Search Books beta (Microsoft News Tracker)
4. The Twits Are Getting Louder