Friday, May 22, 2009

Small, but Significant ...

Can something be small, but significant ... ubiquitous, but useful ... all at the same time? I think so. Submitted for your consideration, the 'search' feature on websites.

You see them everywhere, and you may use them yourself on a daily basis. I know I do ... each day, I surf the websites of local news media, seeing who's covering what story, and how well. It's a habit I devleoped when I was still in the business ... you know, "checking out the competition." But the habit has persisted, long after I've made the move from news producer to news consumer.

And I use the search engines on those sites every day ... and I've found that not all such engines are created equal. There ARE small differences from one site to the next ... small but significant.

Me? I give the edge to the search feature displayed on the home page for
, mainly because of that second data field, the one on the right, which allows you to sort your results by time or relevance. I like the time option, and ususally opt for "Recent First" since that's what I'm looking for ... the latest headline.

A couple of other sites I visit daily allow you to narrow your search, but ONLY AFTER you've conducted your initial search ... time wasted, if you ask me. Still others don't allow you to narrow your search at all.

I admit, in the grand scheme of things, the search engine may seem small ... but it CAN be significant.

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