Friday, January 30, 2009

Unimpressed with Rollyo

Well, here is the first thing in Learning 2.0, Thing 12, that has been thoroughly unimpressive. It is a tool called that allows you to "build your own search engine" that simultaneously searches only the internet sites that you select. I tried it, both with custom engines that I created and some of those available on the site. I thought the results were poor -- too many irrelevant hits.

So, I went to Google, looking for a better option, and, as usual, Google did not disappoint. worked beautifully. There are some who disagree. (I prefer the simplicity of Google.)

In my side-by-side test of Rollyo versus Google custom search using the exact same sources, Google gave me precise and 100% accurate results, with the relevant content highlighted in the results, so that I did not even need to go to the returned site to verify. Rollyo gave me a bunch of irrelevant results and didn't highlight enough in the results page to help me to know why it returned those results. I'm sold...on Google. As an added feature, Google immediately asked me if I wanted to add a widget to my iGoogle page for my new search engine. In one more click, my custom search widget was ready to go forevermore on my iGoogle site. Hooray!

So, here are my two custom search engines that simultaneously search the two most popular listings of school closings in Cleveland:

search of Cleveland school closings
VS.Google search of Cleveland school closings:

Which do you think works better (and looks infinitely cooler)? I wish I would have set this up earlier this week -- my children's school was not listed on the source from which I receive text alerts, but it was listed on the other. It would have saved an unnecessary trip in blustery weather conditions.

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