Monday, July 28, 2008

It's not cool to give your Google-killer search app a name nobody knows how to pronounce. It's Cuil.

And Cuil isn't cool -- at least not today, on its much-hyped launch date. Here's a quick test: Go to Google and type in "Google." Then go to Cuil and type in "Cuil." Which one seems to know what it's doing -- or even to know what it is? (And on Google, today you also get a nice drawing of Peter Rabbit, celebrating Beatrix Potter's birthday.)

There's been a lot of hype about the new company started by ex-Googlers . The story in today's New York Times is typical.
In her two years at Google, Anna Patterson helped design and build some of the pillars of the company’s search engine, including its large index of Web pages and some of the formulas it uses for ranking search results.
Skip to next paragraph

The makers of the Cuil search engine say it should provide better results and show them in a more attractive manner.

Now, along with her husband, Tom Costello, and a few other Google alumni, she is trying to upstage her former employer.

On Monday, their company, Cuil, is unveiling a search engine that they promise will be more comprehensive than Google’s and that they hope will give its users more relevant results.
Or maybe not. At least today, on the launch date, Cuil seems dreadfully slow and erratic in its search results. Maybe they are just having server problems. When I do an ego search of my own name, it says there are 476 results, but it shows a blank screen. I'll get over it, and I hope they get the bugs worked out. It would be nice to have a good backup alternative to Google, although I seldom seem to need one. But I'll never get over that silly name. Cuil just isn't cool.

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