Friday, February 02, 2007

Ms. Dewey: Heir to Clippie

I've never thought of search as entertainment, but this site is hilarious. If you've ever had any doubt what the future of search was all about, surely Ms. Dewey will enlighten you. Some fun searches to try: art, namibia, and my personal favorite, gangster. Check it out: Flash is required.

After being thoroughly entertained for half an hour, I realized this was a bit too polished for a Saturday Night Live skit, which is what I thought the site in essence was. After reading a bit more on the web, bizarrely, I found out this site is not a joke. I learn this was a serious attempt at search UI. Here's a quote from a Microsoft spokesperson courtesy of David Utter:

"This is not an advertising campaign. This [was] really just an experiment for exploring different ways to introduce people to search and Live Search specifically. We are not promoting the site but simply putting it out on the Web for discovery."

This is too much. How on earth could someone take this project seriously as a potential search interface? I think Microsoft should back peddle quickly and claim it was a brilliant online advertising tactic. More fuel for the branding fiasco fire.

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