Meet the all knowing Techlife-a-tronGraduate student Mark Zeman from Massey University, New Zealand recently presented his social search engine, searchbots.net for his Masters in Design class. He reached out to Techlife, as part of our “Review Me” program.

We always encourage educators, as we recently featured Dr. Wesch’s Digital Ethnography, we thought “Social Search” with a personality sounds fun. Upon arriving we were right. The site lets you build a custom robot. Who wouldn’t want to do that? The visuals are stimulating and fun, while still easy to use. I would have liked a few more choices for robot parts, but as you can see my bot is still pretty cool looking. Nice Job Mark.

Then you fill your bot with some logic, adding in keywords you care about, and things you are knowledgeable about. Notice our favorites? Then Mark begins to lose me. He offers up mod search chips which seem cool, at first. But I couldn’t get them to do all that much. The “feeds” mod searchchip didn’t even work in Firefox. I tried asking a few questions, with the “ask question” but the search results to simple queries weren’t immediate. The “tags” mod searchchip worked nicely, providing 8 results to a few different queries. But it took a few seconds to realize that if those 8 weren’t good enough then I had to click my searchbot to try a new query.
Searchbot.net Enter a Keyword Screen

Overall Thought: A fun and engaging time can be had building a colorful and stylish robot. If it continually develops with stronger and more searchchips, as Mark hints I think he has a winner, but as it stands right now I can’t use it everyday.

Call for submissions: Do you have a web project, software, gadget, technology that you would like to have reviewed? Techlife is always looking for unique products and services all it takes is an email. reviewme [at] dkworldwide [dot] com Of course, we review how we see fit, but you trust your products right?

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