UPDATE: As of 2009, LookSmart has evolved into a search advertising network and no longer provides search information.
LookSmart is an interesting search engine service that's kind of hard to classify as merely a "search engine." Powered by WiseNut, with over 180 vertical search sites, a bookmarking and sharing tool (Furl), and their very own article search engine (FindArticles.com), LookSmart has a lot to offer any searcher.
FindArticlesThe Articles tool allows the searcher to find and read millions of articles from over 900 publications, on virtually any subject out there. For college students or anyone else conducting any sort of research, this is an invaluable tool. Some of these articles require paid access, but you can easily filter out any pay-per-view search results by checking the “Free” box at the top of the search results page, or just staring out your search in free articles only with the dropdown menu.
There are four options available in the Articles tool: search by subject (you pick), search by publication, search by general topic (LookSmart’s subject guide), and search in the already compiled Research Guides. All in all, an exceptional tool.
FurlFurl gives users the ability to save copies of any Web page, search within your own personal archive of Web pages, and share what you find. Furl was one of the very first social bookmarking tools, and continues to be one that people use to find and share good stuff on the Web.
People also use Furl to create their own personal shopping lists, real estate directories, job searches, student research papers, etc. This may just sound like a fancy way of saying bookmarks; but the thing about Furl is that you can access it from any computer, which means that your Favorites will go with you, and can be shared with anyone.
LookSmart Search TipsLookSmart has a lot to offer. To show you just what I mean, we'll do a sample search for cheese.
Search results for cheese bring back many search options in LookSmart. First, obviously I have general Web results, but if I want to get deeper in the world of cheese, I can:
- see what others found with Furl: these results are what other people have Furl-ed and made available publicly.
- see what articles there are at FindArticles: not surprisingly there are quite a few articles about cheese over at FindArticles.
- LookSmart news results: find news about cheese; right now there's an article about a woman eating 26 grilled cheese sandwiches.