Wolfram Alpha and Niche Ville

May 17, 2009

I have been grabbing quick looks at the write ups about the Wolfram Alpha search system. One of the more interesting essays is by Larry Dignan. You can read “Wolfram Alpha Launches: Can It Break Out of Niche Ville?” here. I liked the idea of a “Niche Ville”. The phrase connoted a small town which may be interesting, but it is not likely to suck MBAs into its maw the way Manhattan does. Aside from the suggestion that Wolfram Alpha was a “hamburger and fries” type of search and content processing system, I found this comment quite suggestive:

Overall, Wolfram/Alpha reads like an encyclopedia. It’s handy at times, but the big question is whether the search engine can break out of niche-ville. Sure, geeks like the presentation and it Wolfram/Alpha can be handy for deep dives, but the average person will want some sort of results every time. In that regard, Wolfram/Alpha may be a disappointment.

My thought was, “Wolfram Alpha is like other question answering systems. It’s a bit like an advanced search function because the user has to do more thinking than typing pizza into a Google Map. As a result, a small percentage of Web users may have the mental energy to tackle these systems.” Niche is a useful term.

Stephen Arnold, May 17, 2009


3 Responses to “Wolfram Alpha and Niche Ville”

  1. Marketing 3.0 » ?? ?? ???????? ?? Wolfram Alfa ? Google 3.0 ??? ???? ?? ? ????????-?????????? ?? ????????? on May 18th, 2009 3:18 pm

    […] Wolfram Alpha and Niche Ville (arnoldit.com) […]

  2. Biz on June 13th, 2009 2:50 am

    Wolfram Alpha is a good news in the area of search engines. It has some advantages compared to the other search engines. Still, it is not the competition to Google or other search engines, since it uses totally different approach. It is more like dictionary or encyclopedia than search engine.

  3. Introspective on July 5th, 2009 2:31 pm

    I like Wolfram Alpha. It offers a completely new way of searching for information.

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