Topsy – Searching Beyond the Obvious

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009 by

Topsy – Topsy offers a new search engine with a unique way of the Web’s exploration. As far as Topsy is concerned, the Internet is a stream of conversations where people in every community are connected in a web of relationships, where each person influences other people to read, talk and think about things. Topsy ‘listens’ to these conversations that are taking place all the time on the living social web (Twitter, Blogs, Flickr, Digg, Yelp, Identica and many other communities) and indexes what people are talking about.

When searching for something on Topsy, it finds snippets of conversations that match what you’re after. Their  provided results are what people link to when they’re talking about your search terms. Topsy ranks results based on compatibility with your search terms, and the influence of the people talking about them. I put Topsy to the test and the results indeed deserve the superlative ‘remarkable.’ Thanks to this service, I discovered new things in the process, which seems like a great added value.

Topsy’s service is a great one to use on particularly interesting topics such as the NBA 2009 playoffs (sorry girls, no hard feelings). I tried searching the term “NBA” on both Google and Topsy. The former’s results are the obvious ones while Topsy’s were better in terms of subject range, and here’s an example why: Topsy offered this satiric result, Orlando Assistant Coach Patrick Ewing Counsels Dwight Howard On How To Lose NBA Title. To wrap things up, I would say that if you are interested in slightly-more-than-obvious results, Topsy would be a great starting point. I can only assume that Google is aware of the Topsy potential since, according to Google’s unofficial news, they are about to launch their own micro-blogging search engine.

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