Think of all the times you’ve searched Google. Are you searching for information or for knowledge? If you’re not sure of the difference, we’re here to help.
What We Know v. What We Don’t Know
Sometimes we search for information we know we’re looking for and for that we employ machine-generated knowledge systems, like Google. But sometimes we search to discover information we didn’t know about at all, like we do on Wikipedia, a human-generated knowledge system, that is, a system populated with user-generated content, like blogs and other social media.
Discovering knowledge is much more complex because it relies on the creation of conceptual relationships which helps to improve the accuracy of a search by understanding searcher intent. With semantic search, if you search for two or more terms, you will find occurrences of a conceptual relationship, not just the terms scattered within the same document, like traditional machine-generated search engines provide.
Searching and discovering are equally valuable, but understanding what you seek to gain from each can help you know where to go to get the information that you need. To help guide you, here’s a list of a few semantic search engines that we think are worthy of discovery.
Worio is focused on finding the topics that are interesting, not just popular. Using what it calls a Zeitgeist Algorithm, Worio claims to pinpoint the “spirit of the times” by pulling out the key indicators that highlight the moment where interest was piqued.
Worio searches trending topics to find relevance. Everything from the words chosen to tag something, how it’s shared, tweeted and how they can be related, can shed light on what people are talking about.
Yebol utilizes a combination of patented algorithms paired with human knowledge to build a Web directory for each query and each user. Instead of the common “listing” of Web search queries, Yebol automatically clusters and categorizes search terms, Web sites, pages and contents.
By providing users with a rich search experience, Yebol can help them quickly scan the results to find targeted information.
Currently in private beta (sign up to be a tester), Zite combines news aggregation with social media. Zite generates recommendations based on the content, hashtags and links shared via Twitter and Delicious.
Generated from social media sites, blogs and a combination of methods, the recommended sites are presented to the user in a format that shows them the latest news as well as older items of relevance.
Enhancing the Search Experience
None of these sites claim to be the next Google, nor are they meant to be. Semantic search is a supplemental service. It enhances the search experience by providing users with different paths and resources that may not have been discovered through traditional search engines.
So the next time you go in search of information, ask yourself if it’s the knowledge that you’re after or just information.