Vivisimo Launches New Clusty Search Engine
Vivisimo has launched a new search engine, Clusty. I’m going to get in a lot of trouble because I keep wanting to type “Crusty” instead of “Clusty” but let’s continue anyway. You can get it at http://www.clusty.com ; as you might suspect it’s in beta.
Clusty offers several different categories of search; initial search categories include News, Web, Images, and Gossip (Gossip? No, not ‘blogs; news stuff like Rolling Stone.) A Customize! tab gives you the option to add eBay, Slashdot, or Blogs search tabs — why not just list all that stuff by default? You can also create your own search tabs (which didn’t work in Opera but worked okay in Mozilla); you’re given a list of available search engines and you can check which ones you want to include in your custom tab. Nice to see resources like Gigablast and Librarian’s Index to the Internet included here.
I did a Web search for roses. Sponsored results are at the top, while regular results are underneath. Clustered topics are on the left — in this case the topics included flowers, pictures, reviews, and antiques. In the case where the query is relevant (in this case it is) there’s also a list of shopping topics. Each search result has an option to group into a cluster, open the result in a new page, or preview the result in a window underneath the listing.
The news search has topic clusters at the top of the page, but it’s not clear that they’re related to your search results. (there are still a list of clustered topics on the left of the page.) Beneath the clustered news stories are ungrouped stories.
The advanced search for each tab lets you choose the sources in which you’re searching, specify how many results you want to cluster, and change timeout and filtering options.
I find Clusty pretty good. A little slow, but pretty good. I don’t like the ‘blog search aspect. For me, most of the usefulness of ‘blog search or RSS feed search is that you can get the results in order of publication. You’re not getting that that I can see in a Clusty search, which makes it less than useful. I’d also like to see more unusual sources ala Vivisimo, like the ClusterMed offering.
Tara Calishain is writer and editor at ResearchBuzz and author of the new book Web Search Garage