Google@Omgili Debate: Which Side Are You On?

Omgili’s new mashup, Google@Omgili, seems interesting. In their own words, off the Omgili blog: “the most noticeable feature is the ability to find forum discussions about the results Google returns. This way you can find more people that are interested in the same topics as you, and also provide more in-depth discussions about the topic you are researching“.

But, will it bring about change or is it just another Web 2.0 tool that will waste our time? What advice could we offer Google@Omgili to enhance its users’ overall experience?

Google Omgili in action!

Google Omgili in action!

We will start by offer you a list of pros and cons, which is by all means not inclusive, and we urge you to join the discussion and let us know your opinion and if you think Google@Omgili is worth while.

Pros – in favor of the new Google@Omgili mash-up:

  1. Allows for people’s opinions to be heard on a larger scale – i.e from within search results.
  2. People’s opinions linked to search results can help cut out inaccurate self-promotions, such as ‘This is the best e-Book about x’, while all the comments are how it’s a scam and a rubbish product.
  3. The buzz feature is helpful in determining hot topics – but is it real time enough? I think I still like Twitter and TwitScoop more.
  4. The sort by date option is easy to use and highly useful for time sensitive searches.
  5. It displays results in any language - I think it’s a pro coupled with a real-time translator like Mozilla’s Ubiquity add-on.

Cons – against the new Google@Omgili mash-up:

  1. Many opinions online are not meaningful, well-structured or even interesting. Some are pure rubbish! Of course that bullet point by itself is debatable!
  2. The buzz feature could cause negative advertising for small start up businesses. What we mean by that is if you just started a blog, the buzz around your newly established brand name will be close to nothing, the Buzz graph of Google@Omgili can give a bad impression to your new readers.
  3. Far away from being real-time, since it depends on a spider bot that needs to continuously index web pages and discussions.
  4. The interface and features is a bit confusing. For example: what is the difference between a ‘discussion’ and a ‘linking blog’?
  5. It does not include reactions from the any social media system that came to existence after the year 1999! It’s got forum discussions and “reviews”, but what about the comments on Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Mixx, blog posts and the countless other social media platforms out there?

 

I am confident you have more valid points to add this argument so be a part of our debate and let us know what you think! Do you think Google@Omgili will ever be your browser’s homepage? I frankly don’t think so!

Comments and Reactions

  • http://twitter.com/omgili omgili

    Thank you for this debate…. Just letting you know that we will listen and try to implement your suggestions.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    @omgili I'm glad you do care about your online existence through following up on your potential users' comments, suggestions and concerns. That shows that you care and you are looking to perfect your work. I just hope we see action not just read words!

    Now, if you could kindly let us know what you think of the points we mentioned in the cons section. Do you have any replies to those now?

    Best of luck!

  • http://twitter.com/omgili omgili

    Many of the features on Google@Omgili are based on user's feedback. We started this project by changing our default search engine to Google@Omgili and tried to understand why we didn't like it :)
    We added, changed, moves and removed features until we did like it and it replaced our default Google results page.
    I would like to know what kind of feature you are looking for in real-time, just a real time search? real time links to Google's results?

    Thanks,
    Ran Geva,
    Omgili CEO

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    So far, I am not really getting the whole point behind Omgili though I am an active social media user and I am very much involved in research and I know my way around Google and other search engines.

    I am finding it a bit confusing and maybe even biased in the way in might be promoting large companies as mentioned in point 2 in the cons section.

    Maybe it will grow on me like Twitter did. Maybe it won't! Only time will tell!

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    Probably it would never become my homepage! I think it needs much work to become a mainstream site.

    I think I'd prefer a Twitter/Google mashup like WebMynd. You know what's going on and the community's opinion about a certain topic in real-time. Omgili is attempting to get a wider set of opinions built in including forum discussion and related blog articles, but I do not think it's enough.

    DISQUS have a social feature called “Social Media Reactions” which scans and includes all comments from Reddit, Digg, Hacker News and many other social networking/bookmarking site. I think Omgili should look into that and see how they can improve.

    Plus, I do not get the difference between “Buzz” and “Forums & Discussion”. It seems like they list the same links!

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    @omgili: Ran, thanks for the quick replies. The way you are developing your system is a sound and is indeed an interesting approach. But, I think you need to consider your competitors, especially the ones with the larger client bases. I mentioned in my comment below DISQUS's social media reactions, and Twitter's real-time results. I think if you are able to combine these features and preview them in a more structured way than you currently do, you'll have more people benefiting from your services.

    By real-time, we are referring to having the results show up a few minutes after they are published (or seconds as in Twitter). We wrote an article a few weeks ago titled “Is it time for Google to start tweeting?”, have a look at it, you might get an idea or two :)

    Another thing you can think about: How can you give a value in return to blog owners to encourage them to publicize your services and use your search engine instead of Google's default search engine. I mean, Google provides a search box that is embeddable into any site, which uses Google.com to search the site. You can offer that for site owners, but you need to figure out how you can make it really compete with Google's product. What value can you give to me – as a blog owner – to use your engine instead of Google's?

    Tough task, I know :P

  • http://twitter.com/omgili omgili

    Hi Amer,
    Thank you for the feedback.
    Omgili is scanning thousand of message boards (forums), Q&A sites, Newsgroups and other social media platform where “many to many” conversations are taking place. Indeed, on those platforms “real-time” is a real problem, although we created Omgili Stream (http://stream.omgili.com) to help you get the results as fast as we find them.
    We don't want to overcrowd the results page too much – most of the time the Google results are more than enough.
    We will look into how to incorporate more real-time sources into the search results page. At this point, the service is not oriented to real-time, but more to digging deeper and getting more sources and ideas.

    The difference between the “Buzz” and “Forums & Discussions” is that the results in the “Buzz” are from the past month and it will also show you a Buzz graph (that you can embed on your site).

    Cheers,
    Ran

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    The first thing that pops into my mind when I hear the word 'stream' is real-time. It seems that this is the biggest issue that we are not agreeing on.

    Real-time means Twitter-fast to most social media users. From my perspective, when an episode of American Idol is in the middle of being aired, you can already start seeing that whoever performed outstandingly (or horribly) is becoming a trending topic. The key phrase that I find as an issue in Omgili is “help you get the results as fast as we find them”. As fast as you (the bot) find them, means that whatever you found a few hours ago, might not be a trending topic at the time of display. No?

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    I like the topic! and I like omgili although I am not sure how it spells! I can see the potential it has in it and look forward to use it more.

    But I also can see where Amer is coming from. Real-time results is so important. We need just to look at the speed Twitter is gaining popularity in order to realize how important it is. I am sure that it would make a big difference if they add it to omgili.

    Great topic Beiruta

  • Bunny

    I see it as the enemy of an interesting internet. Just another tool for the homogenization of online views.

    Popular opinion can have a negative effect on what is available. I have seen it on social network site after social network site. “Friends” produce super users, these super users promote only a few sites and a few views (correct or not) to the detriment of many more interesting sites and views. For me, this has such a negative effect that I do not trust the front page of any social site. For example, on Digg, barely any humour gets through the swamp of lolcats, haz cheeseburgers and xkcd… none of which I find even the slightest bit humorous. Even though Al Jazeera breaks many stories of world importance, I don't think I recall one time that Al Jazeera has hit Diggs front page. The Israeli “friends” groups, and the large Friends groups of Americans ensure that. Yet we see stories of no world importance from CNN hit the front page day after day.

    Every site with “friends” is more or less as bad as Digg. We see Linux fanatic “Friend” and Apple fanatic “Friend” groups push inane stories to the front page almost hourly.

    Omgilli may not employ friend groups, but western media organizations will still have an undue influence. If Opera starts a bookstore, or recommends a website, you will have people giving great reviews without ever using the site, and without ever seeing the competition to know what to compare it to.

    I really do not see it working at all. If I had a suggestion to make things better, I would offer it. Unfortunately the homogenization of the net is certain down this path… with all the variety of American daytime TV as a result. I am hoping that China does spearhead a new set of protocols for an international Web 2, because I miss the days of talking to intelligent people online, with varied interests. Now it is just a popularity contest for average people.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    but Bunny there is a crowd wisdom that you can't deny. Multiple opinions are always better than a single one, and those people on social site who made it to the infleuencial status didn't come out of the bloom. It took them time, efforts, and credibility building in order to be infleuencial and effective.

    Sure some people have always managed to abuse power, but social media websites have been the most democratic venues human beings have came up with. I can't see any other better system in the horizon.

    If there were more Arab friends groups on Digg, then you would see more news from Al Jazeera hitting the popular page. It is the masses who decide.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Hello Bunny!

    First of all, allow me to thank you for this long and insightful comment! You're feedback is very appreciated!

    I must admit though that I agree with you to some extent but not completely about social media users now and discussions and arguments taking place online these days. I do, almost on a daily basis, run into different users who will initiate very deep or interesting conversations or at least reply wisely and passionately when I provoke them! I use many social media venues and bookmarking sites as well and I must admit, there are always people out there who surprise me daily with their Mixx submissions, tweets, reddits, etc.

    Not everyone is looking to be a “top digger” or most followed on Twitter and so on, many are looking to share interests and ideas and learn from others.

    As for Google@Omgili, I don't like it so far! But hey, we should give it a chance to prove itself useless or otherwise :)

    Thanks again for you input here!

  • Bunny

    Who needs to be Arab to read the most honest news source today? Did you realize that the station is run by a New Zealander? No, not a Muslim, or an Arab, just someone with great credentials, and an unquestionable reputation.

    The US government do not like them for telling the truth, just as the US government are currently (since Sept' 08) holding a Reuters reporter without trial because they did not like what he was reporting on. The more a news organization tells the truth, the less the US government likes them.

  • http://twitter.com/hishaman Hisham

    This is very interesting, I didn't know about Google@Omgili , but am not sure if I will make it my home.. have other websites, so many of them :)

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Thanks for your reply and interest… Glad we brought something knew to your table of knowledge :)

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    @Bunny, is this a free promotion for Al Jazeera? Man, Al Jazeera is no less bias than any other news station around the world. They target their news to build on the emotions of the Arabs and the Muslim word. There are big questions marks on Al Jazeera and its news.

  • http://twitter.com/omgili omgili

    Hi,
    Again thank you for the feedback. We incorporated real-time search into Google@Omgili – as you can read on our blog post: http://blog.omgili.com/?p=94

    Thanks again,
    Ran

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2009/05/9-real-time-search-engines-which-go-beyond-twitter.html 9 Real-Time Search Engines Which Go Beyond Twitter « Thoughtpick Blog

    [...] indexing with real-time Twitter results and re-tweet ranking. Again, it’s a great start for Omgili to take a chunk of the real time search market, but it’s still limited to [...]

  • http://gadgettechblog.com/ Gadget_Blog

    What a useful post here. Very informative for me..TQ friends…

    Cheers,
    sain-web.com

  • Guest

    My feedback: great website, but silly name, though.

  • Robin

    My biggest issue with omgili is that it is framing sites and using others content to make income from advertising and do so without the permission of the site owners.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2009/10/a-new-web-requires-new-thinking-real-time.html A New Web Requires New Thinking: Real-time | Thoughtpick Blog

    [...] in its anatomy and has copied many aspects of Twitter, Google is fighting to get a position in the real-time world and Yahoo is doing the same. There is a new face to the web where even small websites will [...]

  • http://blog.omgili.com/?p=94 Omgili blog » Realtime@Google@Omgili

    [...] beginning of the week, Google@Omgili was reviews on ReadWriteWeb – since then, we received many feedbacks (that we love). The most noticeable input was to incorporate a real-time factor into the service. [...]

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