A zing of a solution for video and audio

John
John Gushue
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Search engines (and for most people, that simply means "Google") are fantastic tools. But even Google has its limits on what it can do for you.

Regular Googlers, for instance, may be surprised to know that not only can Google not find the majority of what's online, but its search results are outnumbered several hundred times over by what it can't find.

Surf's up - Search engines (and for most people, that simply means "Google") are fantastic tools. But even Google has its limits on what it can do for you.

Regular Googlers, for instance, may be surprised to know that not only can Google not find the majority of what's online, but its search results are outnumbered several hundred times over by what it can't find.

Documents, intranets, fire-walled material, Facebook content, multimedia - chances are very high that your search engine isn't touching what is often called the "hidden web," or the "deep web," or other terms.

There are other search options out there, and there's one trend I want to focus on. By coincidence, it deals with the intersection of what, to me, are the most powerful drivers on the web.

Much of what we want from the web right now boils down to three things: search, text and video. (I would also suggest connection, but we'll set that aside right now.)

YouTube and its cousins have proved how much we enjoy online video, and many of us have inadvertently played a part in making video viral - whether it's embedding a clip on our blogs or simply yelling out to the family to come look at something hysterical.

But video is still eclipsed by text. I know this as a journalist; what people want most from their online news, for instance, is text they can scan. They may read deeply, and they may appreciate the photos, media and extra features, but first they want to scan.

Search is fundamentally critical, for all of us. For years now, we've become accustomed to turning to the web to find something, and assuming we'll find it, too.

Which brings us to a site that makes a bridge across a few divides.

EveryZing

search.everyzing.com/

The first time people see EveryZing do its work, jaws tend to drop. You type in a search term - "Newfoundland" will do - and it will show you podcasts, online videos, etc., that mention the word somewhere inside. Not only that, you'll be cued right up to where the word is mentioned.

This is an awesome tool for news junkies, sports fans, students, researchers, hard-core information seekers, the eternally curious, the happy wanderers ... in other words, the type of people who use search engines every hour of the day.

The difference is that instead of web pages, you'll be routed to audio and video choices, with to-the-second markers of where the word is said. EveryZing uses sophisticated technologies to provide pretty accurate transcripts of what's said.

As impressive as it is, this is just the start of what could become an even bigger way of searching what used to be considered the unsearchable. Especially now that some serious money could come out of this.

MediaCloud

www.everyzing.com/solutions/mediacloud

Here's how EveryZing may be able to pay some of its bills ... and, indeed, an idea of how content owners (TV networks, movie producers, newsrooms, broadcasters, podcasters, etc.) can better connect with the audiences they never knew they could have. There's nothing for rank-and-file users, here, but it explains how EveryZing is pitching its services to the folks who generate online content, and to the advertisers who are hoping to catch eyeballs.

I'm sure other applications will muscle into the area. The trend is significant because it marries the appeal of video with the best aspects of search. Right now, the search engine on EveryZing is not that refined, and the range of choice does seem a bit limited.

Just wait, though. Imagine what will happen when major producers latch on to a technology that has the potential to connect deeply, and instantly, with audiences.

John Gushue is a news writer for CBCNews.ca in St. John's. E-mail: surf@thetelegram.com. Read past Surf's Up columns and daily updates at his blog: johngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: Google

Geographic location: Newfoundland, St. John's

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  • fintip
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    The trend toward media other than text is probably driven by younger people who, I suspect, are less inclined to read and are looking more to be entertained than to learn when they are online. It is a worrisome trend because video, for example, eats up so much bandwidth and memory compared with text and because it is much more difficult for users to screen out commercial content that comes with the video. For those of us who look to the internet as a learning and research tool for everyday life - e.g. health, home technologies, etc., search results are already disappointing at times. In fact, I wonder if the rate at which new textual data is being posted has slowed rather than the acceleration that we had always been assured would take place. Many times the search results are of limited value - they are old and outdated or simply wrong. One huge irritation is that many documents are not even dated. Isn't there some way that ICANN or the internet police or whatever can reject postings that fail to incorporate a date? And is there anyone responsible for taking out the internet garbage from time to time? Even people who have been relying on the internet for years have little idea of the practical issues that are dealth with - or not - in the background.

  • fintip
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    The trend toward media other than text is probably driven by younger people who, I suspect, are less inclined to read and are looking more to be entertained than to learn when they are online. It is a worrisome trend because video, for example, eats up so much bandwidth and memory compared with text and because it is much more difficult for users to screen out commercial content that comes with the video. For those of us who look to the internet as a learning and research tool for everyday life - e.g. health, home technologies, etc., search results are already disappointing at times. In fact, I wonder if the rate at which new textual data is being posted has slowed rather than the acceleration that we had always been assured would take place. Many times the search results are of limited value - they are old and outdated or simply wrong. One huge irritation is that many documents are not even dated. Isn't there some way that ICANN or the internet police or whatever can reject postings that fail to incorporate a date? And is there anyone responsible for taking out the internet garbage from time to time? Even people who have been relying on the internet for years have little idea of the practical issues that are dealth with - or not - in the background.