I’ve always been a big believer in using the best Web search tools I can find, because having such “power tools” makes me more efficient at finding the information, knowledge and advice that I need for many different projects, ideas and needs.
That’s why I’m fascinated by Grokker, a new search utility from a company called Groxis. Grokker, still in the pre-release stage, is designed to be a meta-search tool that presents search results in a highly visual, intuitive format. It performs meta-searches of the major Web search engines, and then groups the results in a visual index that appears to be very intuitive to use. Grokker can also index the contents of your computer’s hard drive. According to the company’s Web site, Grokker’s mission has a strong tie-in to creative problem solving. The program’s Web site emphasize that it “is a tool that facilitates a holistic approach to the understanding of complex and disconnected information,” and that it “enables the discovery of unknown or unnoticed relationships and data points within information sources.” Isn’t that the basis of creative thought? To pull disparate pieces of information together to form new connections?
Here’s a link to the product overview, which is well written, in my opinion.
This page explains the 3 versions of Grokker that will eventually be released: Grokker, Grokker Pro and Grokker Enterprise.
If you want to see demonstrations of how the Grokker interface works, here are a bunch of online demonstrations in the QuickTime video format.
A preview release of Grokker is available for $99. Right now, the only search engine it covers is Northern Light, but the full release will cover most of the major search engines. Click here to learn more about what’s in Grokker Preview Release 2. You can also purchase it from this page.
I think this meta-search tool has a lot of potential, especially since the guy who co-created Visicalc, the first PC spreadsheet — Dan Bricklin — is the developer of Grokker. In addition to being “the father of the spreadsheet,” Dan was also co-founder of Slate Corporation, one of the first companies to attempt a pen-based PC in 1990. He also formed Trellix in 1995, a company that markets a Web site development program by the same name. In other words, this guy has a pretty finely honed sense of computer users’ unmet needs. At a point in time when we’re all drowning in information, his new Grokker tool may very well be a great tool for helping you to find the veritable “needle in the haystack!”