"The World's First New Media Search Engine"
7 February 2001 - For all that it's often pointed out that Yahoo!,
clearly the most successful site in cyberspace, thrives on a very simple
page design, some people want more than pure text, and the new bandwidth
that broadband links are bringing Web users just begs to be soaked up by
Australian search engine Pageseeker.com touts
itself as "The World's First New Media Search Engine," and
that indeed it is. But this claim pertains not to the content of the
search engine's database but rather to how the engine presents itself to
the world. Rather than a typical HTML page, every page you view at
Pageseeker is composed entirely of Macromedia's popular Flash
animations, most with background music, interactive doo-dads, &c..;
A series of "skins" are available that completely
retailor the look of the site to suit your tastes - from cool "Blue"
to retro "Disco" to sci-fi "Neon." One enters search
terms in a search box, as with a normal search engine, and sees results
listed, as with a normal search engine, but Flash is used to present all
of these. Many interfaces also include elements you can tweak for their
own entertainment value - Neon, for instance, has several animated
objects that whirl around the screen, whose size, shape and movements
you can control in a limited way.
capabilities are frankly not that remarkable - they're no threat to
Google, at this point. (If they don't already, they should license their
results from someone else.) And Pageseeker's skins, for all that many of
them are some nice Flash work, focus so much on entertaining and
thrilling graphics and sound effects that the search results vanish
under all the clutter. That said, this is almost certainly what the
future of the Web looks like - increasingly involved interfaces created
in Flash! or similar tools, some of which may eventually even improve
the usability of the content they deliver. And, perhaps more to the
point, these technological leaps enable new forms of advertising, which
may be more effective than the rapidly waning banner ad.
C. Antonio Romero
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