Nexplore: Search Redefined… Again
October 2, 2008
Nexplore’s mission is:
to radically improve the online experience. We provide Web tools and destinations that empower people to drive and define a World Wide Web perfectly suited for their unique needs, interests, and online pursuits….Leveraging advances in Web 2.0 technology, NeXplore engineers develop cutting-edge social computing websites, portals and downloadable applications that elevate online productivity, community and comfort to new heights.
Several readers sent me a link to this service today. I had been alerted to the company several months ago. I gravitate to systems that deliver intelligence-type functions. Readers of this Web log know this because I refer to Silobreaker, Sprylogics, and other answer-oreiented systems more frequently than I do ad-centric search systems. That’s my bias, and I won’t be shifting my mental longitude anytime soon.
On Octobe 1, 2008, Nexplore–a publicly traded company OTC:NXPC.PK announced an updated version of the company’s search system. You can try out the system here. For information about the company, click here. The news release said that enhancements include:
- Interface tweaks; for example, you can collapse certain lists and see the icons now. The previous version of Nexplore used icons too small for my aging goose eyes. Worms I can smell; icons I have to see.
- Performance tuning. The version released on October 1, 2008, seemed snappier to me. The system doesn’t deliver at Google speed, but the system is more usable than before.
- Social features. I am still cautious when it comes to “social” functions on public networks. Anyone thinking about Phorm as you read this? I am. Nevertheless, Nexplore allows you to use the company’s patent pending social sharing feature. The idea is that you can bookmark sites and share those bookmarks.
I ran several queries. My old chestnut “enterprise search” returned some useful results. I noticed a bias to Microsoft, which may be a consequence of what the company is spidering. Here’s the results I saw on October 1, 2008, at 8 30 pm Eastern:
The display looks very similar to those used by some eDiscovery firms. The center pane presents the relevance ranked results. The upper portion of the results list are ads and below the rule are the “organic” results. The left hand column is used for ads, clearly marked “Sponsor Results”. The left hand column provides suggested terms and a list of definitions appearing in Wikipedia “associated” with my search. When I moved my mouse over the results, previews of Web sites appeared. I dismiss these, probably due to my age and my desire to have an interface stay put as I try to figure out what I am being shown and what the usefulness of the results are to me. A younger, more flexible mind will find the pop ups more helpful. I don’t like them, never did and never will. In the results list for “enterprise search” Microsoft ranked well above Fast Search & Transfer. I think this reflects the role of Fast Search in the giant belly of the beast quite accurately. In fact, if I knew zero about enterprise search, the Nexplore results were quite useful.
My other interesting query is for “beyond search”. This phrase points to this Web log on Google today (October 1, 2008). On Nexplore, the number one result is the Seattle-based search engine optimization company. My study for Gilbane Group is the third hit after the advertisements and the Web log itself is the number six hit. This is not a big deal to me, and it probably makes the SEO group happy. The Beyond Search goose doesn’t really care. He’s too old. One feature I liked was the ability to click the “trash” icon to remove a result from the hit list. (Farewell, beyond search SEO group in Seattle.)
Nexplore operates from Frisco, a suburb near Dallas-Fort Worth in what Texans call the Metroplex, which is foreign territory to this goose. The financial informatoin available to me was modest. In fact, the data were incomplete with losses showing for the period from 2006 to the present. See for yourself by clicking here. The CEO is Edward Mandel. The CFO is Steven Gummer. And the CTO is Dion Hinchcliffe. Mr. Hinchcliffe writes a articles. For an example, click here. He also writes a Web log here. The content focuses on the social computing trend. He includes some interesting illustrations in his writings. Show below is the “General Transformation Process of Busijess to 2.0 in the 21st Century. You can read his the original graphic here.
I want to give Nexplore time to refine its product and give it a chance to make headway in what is a tough sector. I see some features that don’t appeal to me, but I found similar issues with Cuil.com. My recommendation is to give the system a test drive. I find it useful to run the same query across multiple sites. Gems often turn up. I have to remind people that Dogpile.com is a useful metasearch engine. I am willing to give under dogs plenty of leash. Perhaps you will give it a whirl as well?
Stephen Arnold, October 2, 2008