Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cranky - Search Engine for Mature People

The creators call this an age-relevant search engine. What they are trying to say is that it is designed for an older population. If you are over 50 Cranky wants you to visit.

Here is the premise as I see it. The regular search engines give too much information or non-relevant results. When you put a search request into Cranky it will give you the top four results.

I have to tell you this is making me twitchy. Now I understand that most people don't use quotation marks in their searches. I know that less than 10 percent even click on the advanced search button to refine the searches.

But that is not a factor of age, folks just don't know how to use search engines more effectively!

Then again, I do like having to slog through a million hits. I find neat stuff that way.

I digress. Cranky does have a value. I gave it a test search for a music group known as "The Soul Children". I didn't use quotation marks.

Cranky initially pulled up a Wikipedia page and a tribute page that listed the single recordings. It also brought up two false hits, one for a charity and "Walt Witman and Soul Children of Chicago."

Now, I have to tell you this is an obscure search. There are other people and companies using the name "Soul Children". I'm looking for a history or complete discography of the group. As I continued to search Cranky it just wasn't giving me what I wanted.

However, if I was looking for general items of interest then Cranky doesn't do too bad. So how does this help you help patrons? Well, you can give them the option of using Cranky instead of Google or Yahoo.

You can use Cranky as a crude marketing tool to find out what the over fifty crowd is searching - here is a hint. They still like info on "knocking boots." Yes, the over fifty wants to know more about the linen based horizontal mambo.

And if you are pressed for time and don't want to slog through a million hits then you might want to see if Cranky can save you some time to locate your search topic.

All I ask is that if you do offer Cranky please do so as an option and not an assumption that older folks need a special search engine.

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