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Introducing Boom! The Intelligent Search Assistant

Written by on February 2, 2008

Regular readers know that I always advocate efficiency, and this is definitely no exception. I give you Boom! - a much faster way to search the web.

What is Boom! you ask?

If you are like me, you are probably using Google or Yahoo as your search engine? They are both great for searching general topics, but when it comes to "special" things they are too "generic". To give you a couple of examples:

  • Amazon is a much better place to search for books or DVD's
  • Flickr is "the" place to find cool photos
  • YouTube is where you can find all those funny clips
  • Wikipedia is a great place to look up things
  • Yahoo Movies is a cool place to get up to speed on... well... movies

The problem is that you spend a lot of times just to search for information. It is relatively quick to visit Wikipedia, fill in the form, and search for the information you need, but wouldn't it be great if the search engine could figure it out all by itself?

This is what Boom! does. It will analyze whatever it is that you are searching for and direct you to the search engine that is most likely to give you the best result.

If you search for "books by Dan Brown", it will not search on Google but instead move you directly to Amazon. Similarly, if you search for "pancake recipes" it will move you directly to "All Recipes" or if you want to find a hotel in Boston, simply search for "locate hotels in Boston" and it will search using Google Maps.

Note: if Boom! cannot find a better alternative, it will simply use Google as you are used to.

This, in short, is what types of searches it currently supports (click on each link to see how it works):

It also supports searching on popular social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Linked-In.

And, more is coming!

You can always tell Boom! to use a specific search engine. If you search for "yahoo usability patterns", it will search Yahoo! for "usability patterns". Or if you want to search for time-lapse videos on Stage6, simply type in "stage6 timelapse".

Boom! also features natural language processing, which means that you can write "where is Vejle, Denmark" or "how do I cook spaghetti" and it will figure out what you really want.

Note: The natural language processor is "work in progress".

It gets better!

The really cool thing about Boom! is that you can install it in your browser's search bar. Just go to and click the install button.

Installing Boom! as your default search engine is great, because then you do not even have to visit the site first. Just type in whatever you are looking for - and you will go directly to the most appropriate search result. You will never even have to see Boom!

BTW: This is probably the first time anyone has created a web application that you do not have to see :)

And here is another tip: If you using Windows, you can activate the "address bar" in the taskbar, which lets you search even when your browser is closed.

As you can probably tell, this is a very efficient way to search. You no longer have to visit different sites to search for content within them - And, there is no "middle" page. Search - and "Boom!" - you get a result (hence the name).

Try out Boom!, tell me what you think - feedback and suggestions are more than welcome!

A few technical notes

Boom! requires either Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 2+ to work with the built in search bar. But, you can use Boom! from the web page in both Safari and Opera. Older versions of browsers are not supported (and never will).

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


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