December 15, 2003

Grokker2 Released Today

The Mercury News reports that Grokker2 is to be released by Groxis today: "Sausalito start-up Groxis is expected to release today a new search tool that categorizes search results in a more visually friendly way and could find fans among frustrated librarians, research junkies, students and others looking for hard-to-find information."

While Google and other search engines can be very effective, I agree on the limitation alluded to in the above article: Typically, web search engines' results are lumped in together and ranked not by category, but by popularity. While that works for a number of purposes, wouldn't it be nice to categorize the search results by sub-topics? That's what Grokker2 purports to do.

It's an installable program for your PC that creates a visual "results map" organized into categories, and includes three plugins: The Web,, and My Files. "The Web" plugin searches six search engines at once (AltaVista, MSN, WiseNut, Fast, Yahoo, and Teoma), and apparently an agreement with Google is due within a couple of weeks. Presumably the second plugin searches, and the "My Files" plugin allows you to search your network or hard drive. There are also color and post-filters for additional help, with some pics on Grokker2's product page.

Here's the catch: From its specs, Grokker2 is only available for Windows 2000 and XP systems, with only a 1.0 "preview release" counterpart for Mac OS X. It's also not free, at $49.95, but there is a free, fully functional, 30-day downloadable trial version.

There is a lot of hype here, but it just might be worth a try. While I haven't tried any of Grokker's incarnations, I've experimented with several online "visualization" search engines. I've concluded they are cool-looking and fun to play with, but unless I had a special purpose in mind I still found more relevant information with Google via a properly-crafted search string (and that's where the art and skill of knowing how to compose effective search strings is invaluable). Perhaps that's one reason why these visualization maps haven't caught on yet. However, the subcategorization feature sounds useful, and it will be interesting to see how well Grokker2 lives up to the hype.

(Thanks to MarketingWonk for the news link.)

Topic(s):   Web Wizardry
Posted by Jeff Beard

Well, I'm going to give this a shot. As all of you must know, these "free" services are not actually free. You pay in time, and your attention, wading through the garbage presented to you, because some shmo paid extra money to Yahoo or MSN to get a better placement in the listings.

I think this is a great idea. And although this may not be the final killer app, true correlation of data eventually will be.

Regardless, I'm going to see how well this one works...

Posted by: Dextor at April 27, 2004 12:36 PM

The value in Grokker2 is not that it is just a front end for search engines but in it categorization and analytical presentation of the data. I do not think it is for just searching the web, but is a tool for analysing & categorizing data from the web. You really have to be into data mining to appreciate what this tool does. If you are just a Googler, then its not for you Just MHO.

Posted by: C Ridley at January 30, 2004 01:00 AM

It's not a search engine. Read the article again. It takes thousands of search results and arrays them into categories that you can filter, organize, post, map, etc. It plugs-in to search engines. So you are not paying for a search engine. That part is free still. But don't even pay. Try it for free. I have. It kicks.

Posted by: gary at January 10, 2004 12:14 PM

its a joke that a company thnk theres going to be a demand for this search engine when there loads of others ones like and alot of simliar ones

Posted by: Russellg81 at January 6, 2004 01:42 PM

I do not understand why it should be so high of a price just for a search engine when there are a lot of other search engines that are free . Why should we pay for a service when the only difference that I can see is Grokker splits the searches into different catagories and the others do not , big deal . I can see 10.00 but not any more I would rather use Google .
Mr. Peter Lombardo .

Posted by: Peter Lombardo at January 6, 2004 08:03 AM

maybe it's easy to crack this software.

Posted by: secret agent at January 5, 2004 06:26 PM

Why should I have to pay for a search when there as so many search engines out there that I have been using for the past 10 years or so? I just don't undestand!!!!

Posted by: Tom Hoffman at January 3, 2004 02:06 PM