Recent innovations

Hardly a week goes by without one of the major search engine companies – they are so much more than search engines at this point – announcing a nifty innovation. This article in Newsweek argues that the “winner in the search competition is you” and these days I would have to agree. Or in the least those of us who follow these innovations. The author summarizes some of them on page 2 of the piece. Some of the most intriguing recent innovations have been GMail with its threading of content and ever-increasing storage capacity, Yahoo!’s 360 community site, which recognizes that one may want to share certain blog posts and pictures with only a subset of one’s networks, and A9’s images of geographical locations. Google’s satellite photos are great, too, but seeing the actual storefront is even more helpful in some cases. It is also increasingly easy to get answers to common queries without having to click through to another page, e.g. weather info, calculations, dates of holidays that fall on different days every year.

For those who are in the know, these services offer more and more opportunities to save time while looking for information. I suspect the majority of users are not aware of many of them though and one challenge for these companies is to integrate the innovations in a way that less savvy users can take advantage of them as well.

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