I first got involved with Icerocket.com because the way I searched for data wasn’t and isn’t supported by Google, Yahoo or the other traditional search engines.
In a traditional search engine, most people look for information on topics that are new to them. They want to find out information for the first time on a new product or service. Maybe they want to find out about a person, place or thing. Maybe they want to hunt down pictures on celebs. Whatever.
Searching for items that are for your personal information is a far different process than searching for information that will help you in business.
In business, you usually already know something about the people, places, things, companies, services, whatever you want more information on. Not only do you usually know something about them, but you are more interested in the latest information, rather than the “most relevant” information.
The best example of this is searching for information about your own company’s products, employees or the company itself. If you are in corporate management at McDonalds, doing a search that liststhe McDonalds website first, and McDonalds corporate or related websites 8 of the next 10, isnt going to be of much help. Worse yet, the sites listed are rarely going to change, and with more than 2mm sites referencing McDonalds, the chances of the company really getting an understanding about what is being said about it online is slim.
I like to do what I call my “daily searches”. I search for references to the Mavs, to HDNet , to Icerocket, to any of the films we are releasing or are in theaters and more. I want to know what is being said online about the businesses I am heavily invested in. IfI know what is going on in the web, I can track any issues, andwhere necessary, respond.
It used to be an old customer service mantra, that “One upset customer can tell 20 people about how poorly your company performed, and those 20 people could tell 20 more and your business could really suffer. Keep all your customers happy, and you won’t have to worry”. Those numbers are miniscule compared to today.
In today’s world, one upset customer can write in their blog about how upset they are about your product or service and it could be linked to by any number of other blogs, which in turn are linked to by any number of blogs, which is in turn picked up by a tv news show. In 24 hours or less, tens to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people have heard the complaintand your business and brand are at risk.
In my business life “freshness” of information from a search is far, far more important to me than relevancy. I want to know what is being said, and the sooner the better.
Using the McDonalds example again, a blogs.icerocket.com search comes back with a completely different response. It’s still a lengthy list, but with our engine, we can limit the responses to today, this week, this month or some custom combination of dates. Of course we also then give you the option of bookmarking the search, by using our search history page or subscribing to it and having it delivered to MyYahoo, MSN, or any RSS reader.
Of course, it’s even better when you search for a specific product. I happen to like the McDonalds California Cobb Salad. (Stupid Trivia…When i travel on my plane or on the Mavs plane, it’s 2 Cobb Salads and salsa dressing for me.) A Search for the Cobb Salad finds an interesting blog from a customer who took the time to write about the quality of the service she received.
The value of being able to find this kind of information in almost realtime is priceless. The abillity to track an unlimited number of searches by having it show up in my reader on any deviceI have with me makes my life a lot easier and my job a little simpler.
Being able to respond quickly to an upset customer is the easiest way to lock in a customer for life.
Of course beyond business applications, there are great research and personal use applications.
It’s a great way to find personal restaurant and movie reviews. It’s a great way to do research on current news or political topics and to find out the latest gossip where timeliness is much more important than the relevancy of how many people linked in to it that you find on Google and others.
This isn’t to say that blogs.icerocket.com is a finished product. It’s not. There is much room for improvement. Let me know what you think of it and what ideas and suggestions you may have.