Feeds

Yahoo! takes notes on your searches

Self-scribbling Search Pad

Security for virtualized datacentres

Yahoo! has equipped its primary search engine with what you might call an automated note taker.

Known as Search Pad, this integrated applet is meant to facilitate web research. As you browse the net, it automatically records visited websites and their thumbnail images on a kind of digital notepad built directly into Yahoo!'s search results page. You can then annotate this info with your own notes, print it out, email it, or - yes - share it by way of so-called social networks.

Search Pad was opened up to a small number of alpha users in February, and today, it was deployed as a beta in sixteen countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

The applet is reminiscent of existing net note taking tools like Clipmarks, Google Notebook, or Jeteye. But unlike these apps, Search Pad is built directly into the search engine itself, and the onus isn't on the user to do the note taking. Initial notes are recorded in the background, by the app itself.

"There's nothing you need to install. No other window you need to switch to, no other document you need to open that's outside the natural environment you search in in the first place," Yahoo! senior director of product experience Tom Chi tells The Reg. "This lets us help the user by rapidly assembling notes and, in a way, making sense of what they're doing."

According to Chi, the tool grew out of some in-home user studies the company performed about a year and a half ago. "We spent a lot of time going to people's homes, trying to understand their search behavior...

"We saw people with post-it notes plastered around their monitors and scribbles on legal pads next to their keyboards and haphazardly-collected Word documents where they had pasted in various snippets of this or that from search work they had done. What this represented to us was a pretty significant opportunity to extend the capabilities of search to go beyond a single query with a list of links to something that spreads meaning across searches or even across search sessions."

If you're in one of those sixteen countries, Search Pad should automatically appear in the top right-hand corner of your results page anytime you search Yahoo! ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.