Real time search is becoming all the rage, displacing some of the hype around semantic search and catapulting services like Twitter, FriendFeed and now Facebook into new realms when it comes to accessing its content. Today, search veteran Jerry Campbell is helping to launch Collecta, a service he’s claiming to be a true real time search engine unlike anything the world has seen.
As one of the minds behind the patented process that powered Summize, the Twitter search engine that was acquired by the microblogging platform and is now Twitter search, Campbell has long-standing ideas on how search and discovery should operate on the web. He’s seen the evolution of data-sharing as it pertains to things like news within he financial industry and has learned from organizations’ necessity to reach that “aha” moment as quickly as possible. It’s that “aha” moment Collecta is trying to give you, for any topic, in a very short amount of time.
Instead of focusing on Twitter or FriendFeed, Collecta performs its real time search for the wider web. From WordPress to Flickr, Collecta searches comments on blog posts, images, and more. When you perform a search, you’ll find your initial results along with a time stamp displaying the time your search was initiated. Watch the page as it adds more results, each of which can be expanded to show the details of your search query.
Searches can be paused, which is particularly helpful for hot search topics that will generate a great deal of content in a short amount of time. There are also filter options for search, which allow you to select what type of search results you’d like to see; stories, images, comments or updates.
The launch of Collecta couldn’t come at a better time. With all that’s going on with Twitter and the political situation in Iran, the proof of concept has nearly been confirmed before Collecta even opened its doors to the public, as real time search has become a poignant aspect of social media in this particular case.
And with the launch of other Google alternatives such as Microsoft’s Bing, I couldn’t help but wonder at the long term goals of Collecta. One such question I had towards this end was whether or no Collecta would be including ranked search items along with its real time data. Campbell, who doesn’t deny the usefullness of ranked search data, says that Collecta will be responding to the needs of users and the search industry overall, and could very well include plans for a combo approach to ranked and real time search results.