[internetworkers] *GASP* something technology-related!!

Alan MacHett machett at ibiblio.org
Tue Sep 28 20:57:53 EDT 2004

I haven't used such a thing, but I believe it's time is due.  Search
engines are flawed in that, unless one is exceptionally skilled with query
structures, the results pages seem a lot like opening the phone book to
look for someone named Smith.  (I, of course, don't have that problem, for
I am exceptionally skilled with queries. Ha!)

However, I don't like the visual concept of this idea.  At a glance, it
seems contrary to their basic goal.  It looks much like those web sites
whose author thought it a good idea to use arcane symbols instead of words
for all the navigational links -- so much for useability.  How will a
screen full of swirls and dots be useful?  Is the user expected to hover
over each dot to get a textual explanation of what that dot represents? 
They say it can handle 2000 items; that's a lot of dots.

Okay, I've oversimplified it.  The search contains, I imagine, a zoom
effect: do a search, receive major headings of search, click on a heading
to narrow search, receive more headings, repeat.  How is that different
from a directory?  Why use all the visuals?

But I do like the idea.  I dream of waking one day to discover that some
magic elves have categorized the 'net, Dewey Decimal or some other style. 
My searches now consist of "I'd like to see everything in 1109.11J, cross
referenced with 434.18B."  'Course, I also think colors should be referred
to only by number; none of this canary vs. yellow vs. lemon crap...


In reference to matusiak's message:
> I know we've seen some "graphical search engines" (a la kartoo.com) in
> the past, but this product ("Grokker2") promises to be your next
> generation graphical /browser/ tool.  It sounds totally weird, but
> perhaps useful.
> http://www.groxis.com/service/grok/gizmodo.html
> Trying to see if anyone has taken the plunge with such a tool and what
> their impressions might be.  I'm ready for my computer to be
> transformed into a "visual research and learning station."  Just
> reading the news is getting old.

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