Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on May 28th, 2009

Is There a Google Killer On the Loose?

There is a buzz about the web about the coming of the “next Google” that may nix the search engine giant’s substantial piece of the proverbial pie. It’s name: Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that was conceived by a scientist named... Stephen Wolfram. Wolfram Alpha made its much anticipated debut last week and was hyped as the next Google. Despite the fact this it has been commonly compared to search engines, it really wasn’t similar to them at all. Google indexes and searches the web. Wolfram Alpha processes factual data and converted into forms that can be run through computation.

Example: If you type in your age, gender and city you reside in, Wolfram Alpha will give your average life expectancy. You can also type in the name of any city or town, anywhere in the world, and it will tell you population, elevation, time of day, etc. It was 80 degrees Fahrenheit in Austin, Texas the minute I was born, with a population of 345,496 people. You can also enter a math formula and it will render the plot, alternate forms and other numbers as well that any mathlete would change their undies over.

Does this ultimately kill Google? No. Although the techie culture has gone rabbits over Wolfram, it is ultimately a different animal. What this does do is show the vast amount of room there still is for search and navigation to evolve. Wolfram will be advertising in the future. Right now, they are concentrating on corporate sponsorships, but are looking to develop more targeted ad strategies at some point. If you are a marketer looking to target engineers and mathletes, this could be a great avenue to consider. If you are an average joe who likes the toys that the internet produces, have fun.

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