Now, a search engine for fun activities

Posted: October 22, 2009 in Internet
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A new search engine  Goby.com has come up, which allows users to search for activity and help them find things to do in the city. Goby uses three boxes – What, Where and When – with drop-down menus to find results for your query. It crawls the Web searching from 500 sources and employs a part-human, part-machine review process to ensure first-rate results. Goby searches through over 200 categories, including live music, art exhibits, outdoor festivals, spas, bed-and-breakfasts and restaurants, according to Wall Street Journal.

Though Goby’s query boxes ask users to enter What, Where and When, the When is always an optional specification. The What box opens five categories: things to do, food and drink, events, places to stay and, fall fun. Many of these open several more-specified subcategories. The Where box opens up a Map of the U.S to help users to search for location much more effectively.

Lists of query results are deliberately designed to show more than just Web links, like what Google often displays. Suggested activities are displayed in a numbered list on the left side of the screen, and a map with corresponding numbers is displayed on the right, moving along with your cursor as you scroll on the page. A blue flashlight tool on the map can be dragged anywhere to pinpoint exactly where you want to find activities. It also has a ‘f Share on Facebook’ option on all its search results.

Goby.com has been available to the public for only a few weeks and it is still working out some kinks. Goby still has many errors on its search result and sometimes the same results are listed four times in a row. Photos representing these activities are pulled in from source sites like bedandbreakfast.com as well as from Google and Flickr. While these images can help user save time, some of the results were not accurate. Also, the search engine currently only pulls out results from the U.S.

Goby does not let users build an itinerary. So if a user finds couple of interesting things or events on Goby, they cannot save it. The company says it plans to incorporate these features in the near future. It would be incredibly helpful if Goby had a mobile app. Goby says it is working on an iPhone app, which it expects to release later this year.

Goby just needs to be more accurate and expand to other country searches as well to completely become a fun activity search engine.

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