Talking tech since 2003

Wowd is perhaps one of the most interesting search company’s that you have never heard of, at least, yet.  Wowd is a search company but without the giant datacenters.  Intrigued?  Me too.  The way Wowd was describe to me by their CEO, Mark Drummond, is Skype for search.  How does it work?  Wowd offers a downloadable application which you can install on Windows, Mac, and certain Linux distributions and will keep track of pages you visit (don’t worry, everything is configurable and completely anonymous – Wowd knows nothing about its users), it then uses the users computer to process and index results.  By moving the brunt of the processing power to end-users this saves Wowd millions of dollars in expenses and also allows them to have relevant and fresh realtime search results from potentially the entire web before most of the competitors (Google, Bing, Yahoo, OneRiot, etc).

The key to Wowd’s success lies within the hands of the users that download the application.  It’s very important that Wowd is able to build a strong trust with them.  Wowd is well aware of that too.  Drummond, made note to point out their focus on user privacy during our telephone conversation multiple times ensuring that everything is completely anonymous and that all of the data is stored completely on your own computer.  According to Drummond, there have been approximately 100,000 downloads of their desktop application to date.  He also added that approximately 5% of their users end up downloading the software.

I have been using Wowd the past few days and I must say, I’m impressed.  There is a lot of potential.  The service definitely picks up the latest information very quickly and for the most part, I’ve seen relevant results.  However, some smaller to medium sized sites will not be indexed as quickly as larger and more popular ones due to the fact, even at 100,000 potential users at any given time, it’s still a very small fraction of the overall amount of people online.  Additionally, at this time, the application can only see pages I visit in Firefox, however, I was informed that they are working on Google Chrome support.  Unfortunately though for any Safari fans, it does not appear at this time it is possible to implement Wowd.

Wowd also provides a nice featured called Hot Topics, which are hot (or related) topics within another topic.  For example, if you search American Idol, hot topics will most likely include Lee Dewyze and Simon Cowell.  These hot topics allow you to “drill” deeper into a specific search and find even more information.  They prove very useful.  One of the other nice benefits of downloading the Wowd software is it makes your browsing history easily searchable.  It also allows you to tag your history to help sort it, and share it over Twitter, Facebook, or Email.

Below are a couple screenshots of Wowd in action:

You've successfully subscribed to BestTechie
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Great! You've successfully signed up.
Your link has expired
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.