A Big Day for Google. Big. Day.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

For those interested in search, today was a little of the Christmas-come-early variety. Google announced a group of new features that may well change how humans interact with news on the Web and on their mobile phones.

Starting with the star of the show, Google unveiled its long anticipated real-time search. Following partnerships with Facebook, MySpace, Friendfeed, Jaiku, Identi.ca, and Twitter, the new Google results page will show the traditional popular items along with the latest breaking items from the real-time Web. This will allow searchers to view both the most popular items as well as tweets, blog posts, and news items as they are published. Check out the sample screen shot from the Google blog:

Clicking “latest” in search options brings the goods. “Latest” will work in conjunction with Google Trend’s hot topics as well. It is not yet available to everyone, but keep a look out – it will be rolled out very, very soon.

That’s not all. Mobile is all the rage and is only becoming more popular and ubiquitous. Google recognizes this reality and has been developing fantastic mobile information tools to make search even more powerful. Google also has been banking on moving computing firmly into the atmosphere.

Google Voice is not new, but Google reaffirmed its commitment to voice search today and introduced search capability in Japanese.  Google also announced plans to move voice search way into the future with automatic translation across languages simultaneous with the search function.

Next, to compliment “My Location”, real-time traffic and turn by turn navigation, Google is looking to leverage location functionality by returning information about your surroundings. It’s called “What’s Nearby” on Google Maps, found on Android 1.6 or later. Soon, this function will be available on iPhone via a “Near me now” button. Not quite as soon, but in the new year, the results will also show local product inventory and location-specific search terms.

Finally, and perhaps the most geeky-tech-worthy announcement of the day, enter Google Goggles, for mobile phones. Take a picture with the phone camera and Google will match the image to its own massive databases and return relevant information about the object. It currently works for landmarks, art objects and products. Goggles is for Android, but undoubtedly will expand as it is developed. Sounds a bit like augmented reality, search style.

You can check out more about Google Real Time here.

You can check out more about Google Mobile here.

While kudos goes to Google for pushing the search envelope even further and rushing the future, the real win here goes to the users! I can’t wait.

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Will Big Two Soon Become Big Three? Bloomberg Law

Here is a legal research announcement of note: Bloomberg has announced a new search service called Bloomberg Law.

Billed as an all-in-one legal research and news content platform, Bloomberg promises a service that is fully customizeable and, “gasp” user-friendly. Even more interesting is the claim that Bloomberg Law is the “first and only real-time research system for the 21st century legal practice.” The single search engine taps legal, news and company information from one location. It also offers an aggregation of content under the heading “Points of Law” – combining lead cases with subsequent related cases and statutes, regulations and rules by topic. “Law Reports” appear to be another content aggregator, focused on current events connected to source documents, legal expert opinions, and related financial and curent news, legal and regulatory opinions. “Law Digest” offer legal taxonomies by topic, with relevant legal content and analysis, with links to primary sources and the ability to set alerts for updates. “Dockets” are what they sound like – unlimited searchable access to case dockets, with the added bonus of real time access, often before formal publication. Finally, what legal research service could effectively function without its citation checker? Of course, Bloomberg Law offers “Citator” to “conduct issue-based research and validate your cases.” The pluses to “Citator” are  inclusion of case extracts pertinent to the cited point of law and side-by-side comparison features.

Full text database search. Alert functionality. Analytical reports. Litigation research tools. Competitive intelligence profiles. Westlaw and Lexis, I would be scared. Although the features definitely speak to business researchers more than traditional legal researchers and lawyers, it certainly sounds like Bloomberg Law is gearing up to provide legal research for the 21st Century.

Check out this PDF with details via Above The Law.

I am going to contact them and see if I can’t get a preview so that I can report back here on what BL is all about. Wish me luck!

Warp (Real-Time) Speed, Mr. Sulu: RSSCloud Brings The Heat

Without having to so much as lift a finger, the Studio will now be coming to some RSS subscribers at real-time speed! In the wake of challenges to the continuing validity of RSS  and feed readers in the real-time world of Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook, WordPress has announced that its WordPress.com accounts will be taking advantage of RSSCloud to distribute blog posts as they happen. The reader must be enabled to support RSSCloud and there are now two such services offering this lightning fast blogging love: River 2 and Lazyfeed.

Under traditional feed protocol, it can take as long as an hour or more between the time a post is “published” and the time the post is distributed to feed readers. RSSCloud cuts that lag time down to nil. Now blogs can reenter the information distribution fray, offering a richer experience than Twitter at the same instantaneous delivery time. In effect, RSSCloud will speed up Twitter too – tweets very often consist of the stuff gleaned via RSS feeds. Get the information through RSS faster and the entire on-line news pipeline speeds up!

I have always preferred receiving my information via RSS and readers and have been willing to put up with the time delay in exchange for noise filtering. Now I can have my cake and eat it too!

Beam me up, Scotti!

How To Pull New Content, The Lazy Way

Lazyfeed 2Frequently, I am asked the question: “how do you find new material to write about on your blog?” Material comes from many sources and the size of my info-flow is directly related to my obsessive curiosity about stuff in general and technology and business development in particular. I fuel that curiosity with a number of web-based tools.

I have discussed RSS and the able reader programs out there in prior posts. I have highlighted Twitter search functionality, Friendfeed and a few other tips and tools to refine the process of fishing for value in the endless internet stream here in the Studio.

Lately, I have been looking to streamline my content in even more effective and efficient ways, as well as pull from new sources that I haven’t yet tapped. My two newest information mining and massaging sources are Feedly and Lazyfeed. I will be highlighting Lazyfeed in this post.

Lazyfeed is a real-time, streaming RSS reader, akin to Google Reader and Newsgator Feeddemon in some ways, and unique in others. It’s main selling point is that Lazyfeed does not require that you search, select and manually input your desired RSS sources. Instead, Lazyfeed pulls blog posts for you based on your selection of topics of interest or “tags.” For those who are unfamiliar with “tags”, they are a form of metadata keyword assigned to any sort of digital information that offer an easy means for sorting and searching that information at a later date.

Lazyfeed’s main screen shows an ever-changing lists of posts on hot topics of general interest at the top and a list of saved tags that shift as new information bearing the tags is found. There also are Getting Started buttons that allow you to: tap an overview; find Hot Topics; manually enter topics of interest; start getting Live updates; access your saved stuff; and, tie in your own topics for “Lazy Me” by entering your own tagged accounts, like blogs, delicious bookmarks, flickr, Twitter, etc., for a more personalized experience.

Here is a shot of my home screen here:

Lazyfeed 1

You can see my saved tags on the left. Clicking on the tag will show me all results bearing that tag.

How do you enter these tags? Lazyfeed allows you to browse the streaming topics and “save” any of interest. You can enter tags in the search box or click on tags on the browsing screen to redirect to more relevant information. Once you “save” a tag or entry, it will show up on the left side of the page, updating continuously as new information bearing the same tag is developed. As new content in a particular topic comes through, that topic is shifted to the top with bold text, to get your attention. By “saving” a tag, you can then come back later to access it and give it a more thorough read. Lazyfeed will also offer related tags to flesh out your feed with even more relevant information.

Lazyfeed’s interface shows synopsis of the RSS results in an easy-to-scan organization. When you click a post title, the entry expands and offers you the ability to go off-feed to the actual post.

With the “Lazy Me” topic generator, the relevant tags from your selected sites are produced on Lazyfeed in real time updates. For example, from your Twitter account, all hashtags bearing your selected tag will be streamed in. All tags from Flickr photosets will be pulled and provided. Delicious bookmarks bearing your selected tags will be harvested. And all blog posts from blog sites that you manually input that bear the appropriate tag will also find their way into your “Lazy Me” feed.

A downside is that you cannot save or share posts to other applications or services, like Twitter or Friendfeed with a single, on-site click, but are certainly workarounds, such as sharing buttons in your browser (hello Firefox!) and clipping / snipping tools in applications such as OneNote and Evernote.

I first learned about Lazyfeed from Louis Gray’s post on the subject as the service was debuting about a month ago and have been playing with it ever since. I find it to be a great supplement to my existing readers as it allows me to pull relevant information from other sources not already in my reader subscription lists. I highly recommend heading over to Louis’ great post offering a more thorough description of its benefits.

There is much about Lazyfeed’s look and feel that remind me of Skygrid, the real-time financial news aggregator that sorts information by corporate symbol, rather than tag. The everchanging, shifting list of news blurbs looks very familiar, while the information sources and triggers are clearly targeted at different audiences.

If you are a looking for novel, up-to-the-minute sources for news in the real-time realm (who isn’t on the internet these days?), then Lazyfeed is well worth your time investment. It is still in invite-only beta, and I believe you can request an invite from them. I also have been given three invite codes and I am more than happy to send them along to the first three people who email me at the address under my contact page.

Happy (lazy) hunting!

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Scoopler Scoops Real-Time Social Media News

Just released into public beta on May 8, 2009, Scoopler is a search engine that aggregates and organizes content on various social media and sharing sites across the internet in real-time updates responsive to your search inquiry. Services include Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, Flickr, etc.  Scoopler accomplishes its purpose by indexing live updates. It ranks the popularity of links within the updates and shows trending memes. Scoopler also allows you to “reshare” or return a link back to Twitter or Facebook or the other services it supports.

With its real-time aspect and easy sharing feature, Scoopler seems another worthy tool to include in your investigative and information-sharing arsenal.

Hat tip to Pandia Search Engine News.

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