Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tafiti

Tafiti. Swahili for 'do research'.

Microsoft has just released Tafiti which is a site that “helps people use the Web for research that spans multiple queries and sessions by helping them visualize, store and share the result. “

Since Search is becoming increasingly specialized, across different user scenarios, vertical subject areas and entry points, Tafiti, which uses Silverlight for visualization, and the Windows Live Search engine, will blow you away in its functionality.

With Tafiti, after you enter a search query, you can do the following:

  • Drag interesting results to the shelf on the right. Each box on the shelf can be used to save a related set of results. Shelf contents can be saved and shared.
  • Use the carousel at the bottom left to do different types of searches (image, blog, etc.)
  • Visualize your results using the Tafiti Tree View.

In a short period before the public release of Tafiti that I have used the product, I am very impressed with several items:

  1. The User Interface. This is the best UI I have seen for search. Your search queries come alive! This is the (new) best use of Siverlight I have seen so far, and it does truly enrich your queries, and stimulates your massaging of the presented data to heretofore-unseen levels.
  2. Saved searches. Somebody bite me! This is a much better way of doing searches.
  3. Relevance of presented data. While preliminary, a comparative, albeit non-scientific search revealed that presented data was par with that other search engine.
  4. Speed. On steroids, for once a good thing.

How cool is that?

Tafiti is at www.tafiti.com

EDIT: Channel 10 has a first look video here. Pretty descriptive.

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