Here’s an interesting tool for all of you who like to use your IM (chat) programs for everything. Now you can use chat bots to search Google, Yahoo, Bing and Twitter – without having to go to the sites.
Although this seems to work fine (and I used it all day today for searches), you seem to be limited to the first four search results only. So this wouldn’t be something that you could use for deep searching. But if you are looking for the correct URL of a website, the Wikipedia entry for something, basically anything that would – in theory – show up in the first few results, then you could use these bots instead. No different from Google’s “Are You Feeling Lucky?“.
The bots are for Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger (so no AIM love it seems). But a lot of people now have a Google account so the lack of AIM shouldn’t be a hindrance.
Just add the following chat bot depending on what service you use :
Google Talk ““ email@example.com
Yahoo Messenger ““ firstname.lastname@example.org
Windows Live Messenger – email@example.com
As soon as you’ve added the account to your contact list, it should go online virtually right away and then you can start searching.
Searching is very straight forward. If you want to search Twitter, just type t and then your search term. So :
and this will give you :
I think for Twitter, 4 results is not really enough. You need probably at least 10-15 to give you a better overview. 4 is just too random.
For Google, type g followed by your search term. For Bing, precede your search query with b and can you guess what it is for Yahoo? Yep, you guessed it! y. I know, it’s tough to follow but I’ll try and not get too far ahead, OK? ;-)
So searching Google for MakeUseOf :
And you get pretty much the same results with Yahoo and Bing.
There’s not much more you can say about it – it’s just a no frills search function for your IM program which will give you the first four results for any given search query. I am personally finding it very useful because if I am in a Firefox tab and I don’t want to break the writing flow by opening up a new tab for Google, I can just quickly open up my Pidgin program with a keyboard shortcut and quickly type a quick search into one of these bots.
I look up all my dictionary definitions using Google using the define search parameter and I thought for a moment that I could use this bot to make all my dictionary lookups without having to open the browser. THAT would have been REALLY useful. But the define parameter doesn’t work with this bot. Strange. I hope the bot writers can fix this little glitch.
Make the define parameter work so you can do dictionary searches and increase the number of search results to between 10-15 and these bots will become even extremely more useful. What do you think? What else could they add to make these bots even better?