Another Alternative Search engine: Silobreaker

If you are looking for somewhere to find information about a current news topic then one interesting search engine is Silobreaker. It compiles a full report on whatever search term you enter.  I tried a search on  “Kevin Rudd“, in a 360degree mode. This meant that the search was across its indexes including the fields for news stories, YouTube videos, blog posts and articles. Silobreaker returned top news stories and  a video clip added today, a chart showing the popularity of his name on the Web over the past 30 days, another chart connecting him to other search terms and people, a map of geographic hot spots connected to him, and a list of quotes attributed to him.

It is a very slick way to aggregate all the Web’s information on a topic into one page. You also have ythe option of an advanced search to narrow the search down.

A search on the missing Australian “Britt Lapthorne” found a lot of very current news about the search for her in Croatia and another search of “Bill Henson” and photographer was equally successful in finding information about the current controversy concerning the photographer and the models he uses.

I also tried a search on the Tasmanian Devil, as there was a small piece on the animal in one of today’s newspapers. It again brought up quite a lot of useful information although the accuracy was not quite as good as the previous searches.

If you chose to do a search using the feature “Network” you get an exploration of the relations between entities and events. The feature “Hotspots” allows you to track an issue by date and geographic location and the “Media Trends” feature graphs information.

I liked the visual displays, that help to highlight possible relationships and trends. Silobreaker allows the user to get a feel for the subject and enables you get a more contextual insight into a subject you are interested in. It recognises people, organisations, topics, places and keywords and tries to relate them to each other as part of the news flow. I like the idea that it is trying to make sense of the huge amount of news that we can now attain daily.

One thing that I couldn’t do was to limit a search to a particular country, and I would like to be able to do that as well as do the global search.

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2 Responses

  1. I invite you to see hundreds of alternative search engines at http://www.AltSearchEngines.com and http://www.TheSearchRace.com!

  2. […] working with students on current issues I have been using Silobreaker (discussed in an earlier post) and IceRocket (earlier post) for real-time information but I can see that Mashpedia with it extra […]

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