Update from TechCrunch: SearchMe May Go Offline Tomorrow (Updated: Offline Now) — “The company needs a new round of financing or a quick acquisition to stay online, but so far neither are happening…Bottom line, The site may go offline at least temporarily tomorrow if a buyer does not step in (Update: The site now redirects to Google)” — July 24, 2009
[I have edited this post to remove embedded content from SearchMe, but I am leaving the link and screenshot, and hoping that SearchMe will be back soon, one way or another! ]
SearchMe is a search engine known for its elegant visual display of search results. I have written about it here before [August 5, 2008] and I often include it in presentations — the visual display looks glorious projected on the big screen. I was a little concerned to hear they were doing a redesign, but it’s only taken me a couple of visits and a little fiddling around to feel comfortable on the new version.
The default results display is still a flowing series of page images, by default displayed as in a ribbon format [see screenshot below.]
Amazon’s Windowshop is a beautiful, visual interface for the exploration of new releases in books, music and DVDs. It’s an immersive experience — this may be one of the biggest buzzphrases of 2008. It stands on the shoulders of giants like Coverflow and CoolIris (formerly PicLens) and SearchMe, all my favorite things. I love the way you select titles of interest and instantly get multimedia content — book descriptions, movie trailers, music, and it’s easy (way too easy!) to click through and buy things.
If only our library systems could work like this…
SearchMe — This new search engine has one truly beautiful feature — the highly visual way that it presents search results. As you can see in these screenshots, search results are displayed as a stack of images which you can scroll through horizontally. You can click on the arrows to move through the search results one at a time, or the scrollbar to move through quickly.
This is the search engine equivalent of Cover Flow on the Apple iPod and iPhone, and for many visually-oriented people this is both a fun and functional display. The display of search results is an interesting and active area of development, with many contenders looking to improve on the utilitarian, text-based Google display. Search engines like Truveo and Cuil have taken a multiple-column, concise grid approach to getting more information on the results screen, and SearchMe is taking the opposite approach with this highly visual, three-dimensional display.
There are many interesting features here, including the ability to save and share your own “stacks” but you’ll learn more about trying it out yourself rather than reading about it. Be sure to try all types of searches, including Images and Video, and to explore some of the featured news links on the main page. I thought the current New York Times Bestsellers presented as a stack of Amazon pages was especially interesting.