Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Have You Ever Binged Yourself?
By Cory Treffiletti I Binged myself over the weekend to see what turned up. It sounds a little funny and maybe even a little dirty -- or maybe like I hurt myself or stubbed my toe against the leg of the dining room table. But if Microsoft has its way, then that term will become as ubiquitous as the one referring to the 800-pound search gorilla we call Google.
If you're like me, you're intrigued about Bing, the new search engine from Microsoft. I'm intrigued because I actually like PCs and I like the most recent Microsoft campaigns -- but I'm skeptical about the company's search strategy. Working in this industry as I do, I'm familiar with the stops, starts and missteps that have defined Microsoft's efforts in search over the last 15 years. I'm curious about whether the company can right the ship, so I decided to try Bing for myself.
As always, I began with the same two searches I start with on every new platform: "Pearl Jam" and my own name. The homepage of Bing is intriguing. It's attractive because it changes and uses different pictures rather than the standard white page with search box that Google led with. I like it because it's simple yet still elegant, but of course I was always taught to never judge a book by its cover, so I went deeper inside. Upon searching for "Pearl Jam," I was shown some sites that rarely pop up on the first page of Google and I really enjoyed the nav bar along the left that redefines the parameters of the search. Upon searching for myself, I was intrigued to see Facebook profiles popping up, which is something I never see on Google. I dug a little deeper and came up with this brief analysis of Microsoft's new platform.
My summary: I like Bing and I think it's worth a shot, but if the results aren't good, then it's back to Google I go! And just for a laugh, check out what comes up when you search "Bing" on Google. A mix of news articles, energy drinks and Bing Crosby pop up, leading you to be unclear as to whether the name will ever stick.
Here's to seeing what happens over the coming months, because I love capitalism; competition can only be a good thing because it makes everyone better. I look forward to watching the rise of Bing and the response from Google as well as the swarm of other challengers in this highly utilized and highly combative category!
Here's to all of you!
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Cory is president and managing partner for Catalyst SF.
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