I’ve just been exploring more of a new(ish) search engine called KOSMIX, often described on blogs and news sites as a search engine that may someday rival Google. I’m not sure if that’ll happen necessarily – mainly because KOSMIX operates on quite a different basis – more along the lines of “tell me more about something”. When you enter a keyword or search topic Kosmix gathers content from across the Web to build a sort of multimedia encyclopedia entry on the fly. This includes material from dictionaries and encyclopedias, discussion forums, movies, slideshows, reference sources etc.
What I particularly like about Kosmix is the way it then presents this information. Instead the the traditional list, the information is represented more informatively, organised according to media type etc. While there are other search engines out there that aggregate content from multiple sources, including, of course, mainstream search engines, Kosmix draws its power from the specialized technology that underlies its service. According to the publicity, the company has built a huge taxonomy, a set of nearly five million categories on topics from people and locations to car models, music groups and types of cheese.
From the few education-related searches I’ve tried so far I’m impressed – both with what was returned and how it is presented for me to then pursue further. I’ve now added Kosmix to the list of search engines on my Firefox browser – an effortless task requiring that I simply click on the link that says “add Kosmix to your list of search engines” and it was done!