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Clusty

Friday, December 1st, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
Do you know anything about the new search engine called Clusty? If so, please fill me in!

A:
Well, to be honest with you, I didn’t know a whole lot until you asked me about it. Once you did, I was intrigued and figured I should check it out. So, I did and let me tell you, I was very impressed! I’m a Google kind of gal and that’s usually what I use when I need to search for something. Google is all good and well, but Clusty sort of brings something new to the table of search engines. Let me tell you all about it and then you can decide for yourself!

First of all, you can find the Clusty search engine by going to www.clusty.com. When you get there, you will see the normal search box. Above that, you will see different search options that you can choose from, which include Web, News, Images, Wikipedia, Blogs, Jobs and More. (The More offers searching for Shopping, Gov, Labs and Customize). Those all work just like any other search engine. If you want to find something that was in the news, choose News; if you want to find a picture, choose Images and so on.

You can also set up your personal preferences before you start your search. Just click on the Preferences link located next to the search bar. You can choose how many results you want shown on one page, how many clusters (we’ll get to that in a second) you want, how you want your results displayed, etc. There’s even an adult filter feature. Once you set everything the way you want it, click on Save and those choices will then be saved for each time you search with Clusty.

Okay, so go ahead and type in something you’d like to search for. I was feeling in a historic kind of mood, so I decided to do a search for JFK. After I clicked Search, my results came up just like they do in any other search engine. There was everything from his life to how he was assassinated to his family and beyond. Then I noticed something new that I’d never really seen before on a search engine. And this is where the Clusty name comes in.

On the left hand side of the page was a cluster of information. When you search with Clusty, it puts all of your search results into little clusters. Each cluster has a title and next to that, it shows you how many hits that particular category received. For example, a couple of my cluster titles were “JFK Assassination,” “Photos,” “Film” and “Conspiracy.” For the assassination, I had 75 hits, there were 25 photos, 12 for films and seven for conspiracy. With all my clusters combined, I had 218 hits. Cool, huh?!

With these clusters, I was able to focus on the exact subject I wanted to learn about. You can do the same with whatever you’re searching for. The cluster feature just puts all of the results into an easy to read format and it makes it so much easier to go through the information. You can also search for particular topics within the clusters and you’re also able to see the sources that formed the clustered information.

Now, as if all that weren’t enough, there were two more things that really impressed me with this search engine. First, I know that Web site fonts are usually way too small for some of us to see. We’re always looking for a way to make the font bigger. Well, Clusty gives you that option in the most direct way. Below your search results, there is a Font Size option. You can choose between small, medium, large and even extra large. Just click on the sized letter you want to view the text in and it will change the size for you in a matter of seconds. It’s so convenient and easy!

Second, Clusty has an option where you can contact them if you’re having any trouble with their site. To do this, go back to Clusty’s homepage and at the bottom of the page, click on the Contact Us link. Once there, you can type in your name, your e-mail address and the subject line of your query and then type in your message. If you have a question for the developers of Clusty, type that in. If you just have a comment for them, type that. When you’re done, just click on the Send button and they will get back with you as soon as they can. Most other search engines do not give you a way to contact them, so this is very helpful. Also, if you have any other questions about Clusty, click on the FAQ link and learn more. Everything you need to know can found anywhere on the Web site.

How cool does all that sound?! I must say, I was very impressed. Again, start searching with Clusty right here and bring a whole new light to your searching methods!

~ Erin

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