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Found via Mr. Lowensohn, Scour is a new social search engine. The concept behind Scour is to combine results from Google, Yahoo and MSN and present the best results first. It’s a pretty interesting model and reminds me a bit of TWERQ which shows results from the major engines in tabs inside the application.
At first I was thinking this idea was awesome — combining the search engine algorithms together to create the Voltron of search results (where’s the princess?). Not to pop the bubble, but does the average person care about the ultimate right result or just the good enough results from the engine they use currently?
The second piece of Scour is commenting and rating on results. This is similar to the new engine from Wikia. You can leave comments inline on sites listed in the search results and also vote results up or down. I hope they will have a comment feed and a subscribe option so I can subscribe to the sites I am interested in. Scour says the votes will eventually make their way into the search engine. This part differs from Wikia which allows you to move whatever you want wherever you want.
The last piece of Scour is cash payment for searching, commenting and rating. You can earn points and then those points can turn into Visa gift cars. I have to be honest here – I wish more sites would drop the point reward systems. It’s a great idea but it just leads to more issues than it’s worth. If Scour was going after the mainstream market, it might make more sense. But as I’ve noted above Scour is a tech-focused engine and I doubt the incentive will get techies to switch. I know on the surface the idea seems to be a great idea to create loyal users.
Overall I think the concept has a lot of potential and is good for moving the social search engine conversation forward. Scour needs some refinement but could make an impression in the techie search engine arena.
Here’s the Scour product demo: