Addict-o-matic and Collecta

By aegreenaegreen (1261430747|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

I decided to perform a search to compare two different real time information search engines. After a superficial investigation during class, I agreed with the average rating the class gave two sites: Addict-o-matic and Collecta. On average, the class rated Addict-o-matic the best and Collecta the worst of the real time information search engines. Here, I will delve deeper to determine if my findings support BIT 330's and my initial opinions.

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VERSUS

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The Search

My term project topic involves major US commercial airlines, so I chose one that I could use in a query to compare these two engines: [american airlines].

Addict-o-matic

Here's the search I used for this lovely tool, which is so much better than Collecta on my query that it's not even funny. Could I ask for a more comprehensive real time search engine? If you take a look at my query, you can see that Addict-o-matic has compiled American Airlines information from so many different sources: Twitter Search, Bing News, Google Blog Search, Friendfeed, YouTube, Digg, Tweetmeme Links, Twingly Blog Search, Bloglines, Ask.com News, Flickr, Truveo Video Search, Delicious Tags, Blinkx Mainstream Vid News, Technorati, Yahoo Web Search, Wikio, and Wordpress.com.

And these are just the defaults! By clicking the link at the top of the page that says "Available Sources," I can check/uncheck boxes for these in addition to Google News, Yahoo Top News Sources, topix, Yahoo News, Newsvine Tags and Google News Images. This feature really allows me to refine my search to return the most relevant and useful results possible.

Of the many sources returned and listed above, I'm impressed that only Yahoo Web Search and Delicious Tags yield no results on the Addict-o-matic home page. In addition, I didn't even know some of them existed! I'm thankful that this search engine has alerted me to real time information sources such as Friendfeed, Digg, Blinkx, Wordpress and Wikio. This site doesn't just give me information that I'm looking for, it also shows me things I didn't know!

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Furthermore, there are 80 entries total shown on the home page. Of these, 20 are relevant to my search. For a normal engine, like Google, that would not be the best precision. However, for a query using mostly blog and video sources, I'd say that it's pretty good for a more formal search like mine.

Another feature that I love is the box that pops up when I hover over an entry. It elaborates further on the information within it, allowing me to see if it is something I am really interested in reading more about. In addition, there are helpful sections at the bottom of the site that allow me to see current hot topics by category or browse by category.

Collecta

I performed the same search with this engine. Although I understand my initial reaction to its usefulness, after spending a little more time I now see how Collecta can be useful. First, I will say that for a query like mine, Collecta may not be the best place to look. Because it literally returns the most recent content, the homepage constantly refreshes and shows only about ten results at a time. However, a good time to use this, for example, could have been during the "Balloon Boy" incident. I'm sure that if I just heard about the incident and wanted to learn more about it as it was occurring, I could have searched [balloon boy] and found all the information I wanted to stay updated on breaking events.

I also think it's useful that I can click on an entry and read it on the right side of the page, rather than having to navigate to its site as with Addict-o-matic. Finally, on this site I can also check/uncheck boxes for including/excluding the categories of Stories, Comments, Updates, Photos and Videos. However, note that this is not true for individual sources.

My Verdict

You'll notice that I had a ton more to say about Addict-o-matic than Collecta. This is not to say that Collecta isn't useful, as I pointed out, but it's just not as useful as the latter. Especially when very current information is required, this engine is among the best. However, Collecta is only relevant in certain situations; and honestly, for my term project purposes, it wasn't. On the other hand, I just think that Addict-o-matic is amazing! It can compile so many relevant sources, it really saves me a lot of work. And it has many great additional features that only enhance the experience, as I discussed above. Basically, my conclusion is this: Collecta is good, but Addict-o-matic is just so much better. I still agree with the ratings given by our BIT 330 class, which reflect my findings quite accurately.

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