Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Evolution of Search

I seem to spend most of my Internet time searching for information. Whether it is news, pictures, music or videos, I'm always searching for something. Considering that the Internet is huge pile of information, it constantly needs to be organized to make that information accessible and meaningful. And most popular websites today, provide ways to organize and access a variety of information. All this got me thinking about 'search' itself. Where did it all start?

Search has existed for as long as there has been life on Earth. Search began as a means of survival for animals and humans. All living things searched for the basic needs of water, food and shelter. Different search techniques evolved in the process, like tracking the footprints of an animal would lead to food.

Once the basic needs are satisfied, new needs evolve. We are always seeking something. People seek friends, jobs, knowledge and wealth. Companies seek customers, suppliers and other resources. If a need exists, then we need a means to satisfy that need. And we seek the best way to do that. Therefore, we are always in a 'search' mode.

Over the years, as technology evolved, so have our needs. New search tools were born in the process. Books gave rise to indexes and tables of contents. The telephone gave rise to telephone directories. Every new technology generates new information and hence a need for a tool to manage that information.

With the volume of information that has been generated since the advent of the Internet, it is no surprise that we all seek efficient search tools. And companies that provide such tools are successful. Rest assured that when the next big technology comes, we will still be searching.

Man is a 'search' animal and the search will go on!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

From Writely to Google Docs and Spreadsheets

Writely is now Google Docs and Spreadsheets. I've been on Writely for only a week now and I was glad to see the familiar Google interface today. In the meanwhile, I had tried one other online wordprocessing and spreadsheet tool, This one includes presentations too, which Google lacks. Thinkfree seems to have a richer interface, but is definitely slower.

Like Om
writes in his blog, Google definitely has an Office suite ready. I agree that it was time that Google did a cleanup act on all their offerings. Google Reader seems much better now like several bloggers are reporting.

This post is from the new Google Docs & Spreadsheets. It still doesn't let me post to my Blogger (beta) account.


Monday, October 09, 2006

YouTube. Sold!

With all the rumors going about the Google buyout of YouTube, I was almost convinced that Google will back out, given the risks of potential copyright issues. But, I guess everybody thinks differently. TechCrunch reports that it has officially confirmed this afternoon that YouTube was bought for 1.65 billion!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Writing to Writely

I've finally activated my Writely account after reading this post on I've always been a Microsoft Office user. With all this talk about getting work done 'online', I've tried several tools to maintain to-do lists, project management tasks, calendars, bill payment, etc. But when it came to documents I was back to Office. Reading reviews about online wordprocessors or spreadsheets did not really motivate me. What intrigued me this time was the appreciation for a lack of features. When was the last time somebody appreciated you for not adding a feature.

That got me wondering, how much of Office features do I really use? Very little. I'm so used to seeing all these toolbars and menus that, I simply can't work without them. It's funny considering that I may have never used some of those features and probably never will. Anyway, now I'm typing away on Writely and we'll see how much I like not being loaded with features.

Oh, I just realized that I can't post to if I was in the beta version, which I am. That's one feature I would have liked.