Kosmix Search: Instant Encyclopedia

The New York Times ran an article this weekend about an emerging company, Kosmix, that takes a whole new spin on search. The article describes the Kosmix experience quite well: "For a key word or topic that a user enters, Kosmix gathers content from across the Web to build a sort of multimedia encyclopedia entry on the fly. For many queries, the results are pretty satisfying and look as if they have been compiled by a human editor, not a computer." My ears always perk up when I hear someone mention a search competitor to Google that shows promise. Search is a tough market that Google has pretty well cornered. But a page with dynamic, robust information from a variety of multimedia sources (including standard search results) is not a competitor so much as a suppliment, and this one is definitely worth checking out.

I'll share a personal example to highlight the comparison between Google and Kosmix. My doctor recently sent me a letter saying my Triglycerides are slightly high - which means I need to cut back on my sugar intake (unbeknownst to you, I am possessed by a dessert vacuum that eats any and all sugary foods in sight). At first I Googled, and came up with the typical list of sites to check: WebMD, About.com and Wikipedia.

But then I tried my search on Kosmix, and rather than having to click back and forth between a bunch of links, I had whole page of information to peruse. The Kosmix page had a wikipedia summary, articles, resources, videos, images, Q&A, blogs and even tweets! I was (and still am) thoroughly impressed. It's like an instant Encyclopedia page, but on crazy-awesome Internet steroids.

Wanna try something scary? Try Kosmixing yourself (Yes, I just used that term as a verb).