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Alternative Search Engines Forum

This 141 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 141 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 > >     

 1:22 pm on Oct 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

New crawling, full indexing engine with what appears on the outset to be: promise:


I kinda a like it. It is a very impressive start! (it's one of those clustering/kartoo like engines)


"Users shouldn't have to work hard to find what they want. Mooter sets out to solve the problems of most search engines by understanding the psychology of how users interact with information.

"Mooter analyses the choices you make while searching, then reorders the results based on what you are actually looking for at that moment without you having to go back and rephrase your exact needs."

So instead of giving users long lists of scrambled results, Mooter displays simple, sensible categories of information. As users search, the algorithms shuffle the results in the background, ensuring that more relevant results are displayed.



 1:51 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I figured the engine was doing illegal meta-ing (illegal meaning volume use without agreements).
Didn't want to accuse them of anything without proof. Guess I was right.

Large search engines spend a huge amount of resources (not to mention money) on quality spidering. Hope they have a plan on that.

ha! who would wanna be google?

You are kidding right? Their IPO is the most hotly awaited .com IPO ever. Less spin, more realworld proof. On your first day your engine was overwhelmed in minutes by actual realworld use, and then your meta access was pulled. I'll give you huge credit if you recover from that. Imagine if you were actually slashdotted!

If Google was so motivated they could probably write an interface to their database like this within a few months.
(and there already is touchgraph [webmasterworld.com])


 2:08 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Aw, play nice. I imagine she meant 'who'd wanna be Google' in the 'it's tough being top, everyone wants a pop and a piece' sense.

They clearly weren't ready for some serious hitting, but neither does it sound as if they expected they needed to be.


 2:15 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

That 46kb logo cant possibly be doing them any good...

TheDave was right on with this one. On closer inspection it's a 26 frame animated GIF - very cute but terrible for usability. Maybe the logo was 2 years in development :).

It may be too early to tell but my early impressions are that search speed is very slow particularly on 3+ word phrases.

Fruit and Veg

 2:27 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good call mat. They said themselves it wasn't meant to be publicised yet - obviously for good reason.

It's way to early to call Mooter a 'flaming gala' ;)


 2:55 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmm Mooter not seen it yet they say they are upgrading already.

don't go back, we'll be right away!

Shouldn't that be the other way around?

"don't go away, we'll be right back!"

Hope they index me correctly :)


 3:47 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just tried to log on to mooter and they're down "due to an upgrade". Guess they didn't prepare for such a warm response.


 4:18 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I didn't intend to sound mean, I wasn't trying to be, only realistic as the consumer market would see them. With the always handy back-button we all know ourselves from running websites how unforgiving people can be with first impressions.

I wasn't cutting them any slack because they don't come off sounding very humble on their site or in any press, apparently without having much to show for it. We'll really know soon enough when they are on their own spidering database. And you don't just get interviewed out of the blue, someone sent out press releases so they knew this was going to happen very soon.

Perhaps I owe an apology for being intensely critial but I guess I just have a thing against marketing hype because it cost me my last decent corporate job (marketing management ran them into the ground). But read some of these interviews [gigablast.com] in comparison to understand what I mean about humble, and I've already found his work quite useful as an alternative search.


 4:50 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

i agree 100% ,for sure it was a press released , you dont get in the "herald sun" which sells 1 million copies daily out of the blue.
If there targetting advanced users, i think its a bad start.

I personally dont need people telling me what i should use.


 8:13 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

“Mooter is backed by a combination of private, government, and venture capital funding” – and the CEO’s a shrink, hummmm, I get the feeling that providing search results isn’t the only motive here. Plus the logo kind of makes we want to throw up after staring at it for more than 3 seconds.

I hate to be a “mooter” myself but really can’t see this catching on, although I’m well up for some good Google competition, IMHO I don’t think MOOTER’s the answer.


 9:16 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

They are up now.

Well I hope that does not catch on. I'm not doing too well on it.


 9:25 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well the really interesting thing there is how well they do with the clustering. From most of the searches I ran so far this looks like a major step forward.
Clustering/topicalisation has been tried by quite a few engines, some pretty large - looks like mooter is easily the winner for now.


 10:53 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had a look at it yesterday and think it's a piece of junk.
It doesn't work and when it does the search results are absolutley off the mark. Compare it to Google? Thats not even funny.
It summed them up for me when I read that their "idol" was Looksmart.
I wonder how they got so much press?


 11:33 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

These guys are still in the crawling phase. They're nowhere near the lead among cluster SE's and are not a threat to Google at this point. Their technology needs to mature a whole lot more. I did some searches on technical areas. Some of their clustering is very poorly named and poorly grouped. Some of the names didn't give a clue on what was really under them. I ended up hitting show all results because I found the groupings unhelpful.

It appears they fixed the time out of dynamic IPs, but now I'm getting other people's search results sometimes. For example under an open source software, I clicked on "tutorials" and ended up with "rugby world cup" results. I clicked on "software" and ended up with "pci coal blast furnace" results. Even when I wasn't sent off like that, most of the sites were relevant to the search terms but didn't relate well to the clusters.


 3:02 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah they did not have the legal stuff right. I typed in a type of case and instead of having one cluster being law firm they had one for law and one for firm.


 5:34 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<are not a threat to Google at this point.>>

That must be th understatement of the decade.

I also understand the home made wooden scooter is not a threat to Ferrari at this point.


 8:37 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

the search engine is useful. But they need muscle. 1st of all their spidering isn't deep. Secondly as we all noticed, they are facing interface constraints.

What they have should a sufficient demonstration for financers to step up the gas.

IMHO, plan to optimize for mooter in 6 months.

In the meanwhile, those clusters can be very useful in showing us to target keywords, not just for Mooter but SEs overall


 9:05 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

This, (IMHO) is the slowest engine I have ever witnessed in my WHOLE entire life... I know its in BETA etc. but still, any engine in BETA couldn't be that slow could it?

If they don't speed their engine up, its gonna be a mess...

P.S - I'm confused with the results, yesterday, it gave me the results with the descriptions and today it gives me the results without it.

I prefer Kartoo for clustering even though its a META.

(This message was all IMHO)


 9:15 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just had a chance to have a play and I dont think it will be a major player.

Who wants a search engine that replies with a question - the public will not want to make decisions - they just want an answer.


 9:38 am on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I totally agree with Serio, thats the main reasons Google is a major player, I mean look at the Mooter logo for gods sake, its so big and takes so much time and slow etc. etc. but look at Google, simple but affective design, simple , small logo, If you enter a query in Google, its gives you a answer not a question, infact queries mean "Questions" ,if you ask a question and then you get a reply by a question its just not on. You're supposed to receive a answer if you ask a question!


 1:07 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

- the public will not want to make decisions - they just want an answer.

I disagree. These clustering engines have an unique advantage for "single keyword" users. For e.g., if a user types in 'apple', G would bring in Mac, but the clustering engine would bring in both apple as in Mac and as in a fruit clusters. If i am interested in apple as in fruit, Mac results are useless to me.

recall the classic example of 'jaguar' too


 3:35 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm always interested in new search engines and especially in new search concepts.

But I strongly believe that people now are used to the "type in one or two words and immediately get an answer"-procedure. So for any engine with a different interface it will become extremly difficult to reach the majority of surfers.

Just think of your keyboard: QWERTZ (or QWERTY) isn't the best of all imaginable layouts, but who would try to change it?
Or think of your car: Are the steering-wheel or the throttle control really the best way to control a car? I doubt that, but no car manufactory would dare to come up with another interface.


 3:42 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

hehe mooter.org is unregged :p


 4:36 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

the public will not want to make decisions - they just want an answer.

When I showed mooter to three "civilians", two of them were totally baffled by the cluster display - no idea what it meant. The third clicked through for a while, then observed that she had forgotten what she was looking for, and exited.

If users have to be educated before they can properly use the product, I fear mooter may be facing a big challenge.

My experience has been that the most expensive and frustrating advertising campaigns possible are those that attempt to "educate" the public. Trying to change the public's established attitudes/behavior is a lot harder than getting them to buy brand A instead of brand B.

I see no overriding advantage to mooter that could carry them over that hurdle.

Too bad - I sure would like to see a new SE hit the big time.


 5:06 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

she had forgotten what she was looking for

Good point Skier! It happened to me once ;)


 5:22 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Skier, I absolutely concur. Putting Joe user in front of a clustering engine with graphical display doesn't work too well.
I see those types of engines as still experimental, which is why I'm not worried about speed and beauty of interface and whatnot.

The concept however is still promising. The argument that users don't want to be educated is in fact the problem clustering tries to tackle.
Users don't want to type in long queries, let alone boolean operators. They want to type in [name of city] and get what they want: hotels, pictures, maps, addresses, short facts...
That's what clustering is all about.

The main obstacle to overcome is a really clever algo, likely using lots of linguistic intelligence. From the searches I ran Mooter strikes me as having made a huge step forward in that regard.

Next question is how to utilize clustering in the best possible way. And I have to agree, presenting the user with a graphical interface may not be the best idea.

Using clustering in addition to regular serps might work better.

But that's all to be seen, and I certainly wish any new intersting search engine concept best of luck.


 7:21 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think Mooter has some potential. Whilst it is true it is probably slow and confusing at this stage, those are the kind of improvements they have to look into improving. I don't imagine it being too difficult combining their results with SERPs or change the clustering into an easier-to-understand format.


 7:56 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

That must be th understatement of the decade.

I also understand the home made wooden scooter is not a threat to Ferrari at this point.

Creating a good SE for billions of pages is not trivial. I'm trying to give constructive feedback where they could use improvements. Rather than keep throwing out empty insults, go ahead dodger please post a link to the SE you've written. We would love to see a comparison of what you have done compared to theirs.


 8:04 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Looks like I'm the first one to change my homepage from google to mooter.
Any engine that enhance the browsing experience is a good idea. With mooter, you might surf more to find what you want, but that's how you do things in your real life anyways. Most people who go to blockbuster don't know what to get before they get in. They browse around, pick up different titles, and then choose. With engines, I don't want the top result to be what the engine think is the right one ( back to the Apple example) but i want options. I want to make my own choices, just like I would in my life.


 8:18 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

how to utilize clustering in the best possible way

As heini pointed out, there are more than enough reasons to groups the results in clusters. But the million dollar question is how to present the results?

To me, i like teoma's way of presenting the results in the side. [you can try the search refinements for apple or jaguar in teoma]


 10:21 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

BlueSky "go ahead dodger please post a link to the SE you've written. We would love to see a comparison of what you have done compared to theirs"
I'm not knocking them for the sake of it, If I created a search engine i'd make damn sure it worked before I went public with it.
The very idea that this piece of rubbish could be compared to Google is not even funny.
A waste of texpayers money in my opinion.
Luke_SR "Looks like I'm the first one to change my homepage from google to mooter" and the last I would think.

I'm all for new search technology but don't waste my time with publicly funded crap that has no hope of ever competing with people that actually know what they are doing.

Mooter is simply the worst search facility I have ever seen.


 11:07 pm on Oct 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mooter is simply the worst search facility I have ever seen.

Really? Where did you look at all the years? There are tons of so called search engines out there which are extremly bad. Compared to them, Mooter is the best thing I could think of.

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