Monday, June 21, 2004

Find/SVP Launches Closing in on Business-Quality Content Finding?

Find/SVP's announced new portal is an attempt to bring free and premium content and research from the Web, directories and other sources into a common search interface that will make it easier for individual professionals to find high-grade content in a convenient format. It's a concept that's being chased by any number of providers these days, including HighBeam, Moreover, the reborn Northern Light and Factiva. The TripleHop-powered Find/SVP efforts work hard to emulate many Google-ish features, with contextual ads on Web, directory and online news results and a clean and neutral tab-driven look and feel, as well as Northern Light-inspired category folders that crop up to the left of search results to help people further refine into content more focused on their needs. Premium content appears segregated at the top of Web results, while it is integrated into the main body of the research tab. It's an appealing interface at first glance, but lacks many of the well-designed user features of the HighBeam interface and does only a fair job of helping people understand what really differentiates content appearing in the Research and Directory tabs. The quality and characteristics of the search results in these tabs are all virtually identical - not giving one a strong sense of why we should care that its sourcing is truly premium, save that it's a more limited set of sources. For now we'll call it a good idea with decent technology in search of decent content and a clear appeal to the true needs of professional content users. Toss it on the stack with the others for now, perhaps it will mature over time.
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