Summize Conversational Search

Summize If you haven’t checked out Summize yet, you should. Summize is a conversational search engine. Their mission is to “search & discover the topics and attitudes expressed within online conversations.” I think Summize is a decent preview of what search engines of the future will look like, even though it only works with content from Twitter at the moment.

I got started with Summize for a very specific, practical reason. When Twitter took the instant messaging interface down (and track along with it) I lost my primary method of watching for replies. I turned to Summize for help, searching for my username so that I’d see when someone replied to me (turns out you can craft more specific searches using the Advanced Search). I continue to use this method today.

Eventually though, I started to use Summize for other things. Occasionally I’d see a tweet about something, such as the Los Angeles airport being shut down, but there was nothing in the news yet. A quick search on Summize for LAX gave me the answers from people on the ground. I remember “watching” Tiger Woods win the US Open on Summize (everything is in real-time…I just followed the commentary). And lately I use it to see what people are saying about Edmonton with the #yeg hashtag.

summize search

Another thing I’ve used Summize for is movie reviews from real people. Let’s say I want to go see Hancock. Of course I’d check a site like Rotten Tomatoes, but what I really want to know is what people thought as soon as they left the theatre – did it suck or not? They can share that via Twitter, simply by sending a text message, and thousands do. Summize allows me to focus on those tweets by searching for Hancock. For common searches like new movies, Summize highlights them as a “trending topic”, visible in the sidebar of the site.

It’s this last kind of search that gets me particularly excited about Summize (and intrigued by the possible Twitter acquisition of Summize). Summize Labs have taken things a step further with Realtime Twitter Sentiment. Now I don’t even have to look through results, I just enter “Hancock” and Summize tells me that the “overall sentiment on this topic is so-so.” Wonder how well it works? A search for Rogers Canada currently says the sentiment is bad (people are upset about the iPhone rate plans). Summize is like a dream come true for marketers – they can find out what people are saying about their product or service in realtime. Very cool stuff.

I think Summize rocks. It has a great interface, powerful features, and it’s fast. Summize makes it possible to find value in the noise created on Twitter.