SearchTeam

Frequently Ask Questions


Getting Started

What is SearchTeam?

Why would I want to search together with anyone else?

Is SearchTeam free to use, or do you plan to charge for it?

Signing up

Why do I have to create an account to use SearchTeam?

Can I use SearchTeam without creating an account?

I've forgotten my SearchTeam password. Now what?

Using SearchTeam

What is a SearchSpace?

Can SearchTeam save my results so I can come back to it later?

What information sources does SearchTeam search?

Where can I find previous searches that I've done?

Collaborative Searching

How do I invite someone to join a search with me?

What do my collaborators see when they join my search?

What are the odds that people will be online at the same time to benefit from real-time features?

Privacy and Security

Is a SearchSpace private to me or is it visible to others?

Who can make changes to my SearchSpace? Can anyone on SearchTeam do that?

Comparing with Other Search Engines and Tools

Does the Internet really need another search engine?

How is SearchTeam different than Google, Bing, or other search engines?

Is SearchTeam really better than Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask?

How much time will I really save when I use SearchTeam instead of Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask?

Why can't I just use Google and a wiki to do the same thing, or perhaps a combination of e-mail, Facebook and Twitter to share info?

SearchTeam in Action

Can you give examples of how SearchTeam has been used in the academic setting, such as in classrooms, schools, labs, etc.?

Can you give examples of how SearchTeam has been used in offices, companies, corporations...in the work setting?

Can you give examples of how friends / family members have used SearchTeam?

I'm interested in talking to someone about using SearchTeam at my business or school. Where do I find information?

———

Getting Started

What is SearchTeam.com?

SearchTeam is a collaborative search engine.

To start with, you can use SearchTeam to efficiently research the Web for information. You start your research by creating a SearchSpace on a topic of interest. From within a SearchSpace, you can search the Web, videos, images, books and more. You can find and save only what you want while you are searching and throw away what you don't want or find irrelevant. You can automatically organize what you save, into folders of your choosing. Everything is automatically saved into your personal account, and you can return to your searches any time and continue from where you left before.

What makes SearchTeam unique and valuable is that you can do your searches collaboratively with others you trust, such as friends, colleagues and family members. You can invite any set of people you trust to search with you from within a SearchSpace. An invitation is sent via email to those people you invite to join your search. When they enter your SearchSpace, they see exactly what you've found and saved so far. They can comment on or like your findings. They can chat with you from within the SearchSpace, and do further searches relevant to that topic and save more results into the SearchSpace. All changes made by any collaborator are relayed to all other collaborators in real-time, so everyone is instantly in synch with what others are doing.

In addition to finding and saving search results, SearchTeam goes further to enable you to enrich your SearchSpace with knowledge that may come from other sources. You can upload documents to a SearchSpace to share your relevant reports / presentations etc. You can also add links to Web resources that you may have received from others via email or social networks. You can even create new posts to share your knowledge on the topic directly inside the SearchSpace.

Together, as a team, you can leverage the collective effort to find good quality information, and benefit from the collective knowledge on any topic efficiently.

In effect, SearchTeam is traditional Web searching + Wiki-like editing and saving capabilities + integration with your trusted circle of people though social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter + real-time collaboration with people you trust. What this delivers to you is a new and more effective way of using the Web to find, save, organize, share and leverage collective knowledge through people you trust.

Why would I want to search together with anyone else?

Searching has been a lonely activity since the dawn of Internet search engines. This isolation exists despite the fact that everyone on the Internet knows and trusts other people in a variety of settings — personal, academic, professional — who are interested in and perhaps even knowledgeable on the same topics.

This search behavior comes with a big price tag. There's lots of time wasted in repeated searches on the same topic. And the right information you need isn't there at your fingertips when you need it. When you search together with people you trust, you can tap into what they know, or find what you need together more effectively.

Here are examples of why you might search together with people you trust …

… on the home front, you can use SearchTeam to plan a vacation with family members and friends, plan a reunion with your extended family, research the Web for a medical condition or disease that a dear one has been diagnosed with, and more!

… on the school front, you can use SearchTeam with your peers to research more efficiently for your projects, papers, thesis and more!

… on the business front, you can use SearchTeam with your colleagues and even with your clients or business partners, to research new trends, new markets, your customer prospects, your competitors, new technologies, new partner opportunities, and more!

Is SearchTeam free to use, or do you plan to charge for it?

Yes, we plan to offer a free version of SearchTeam into the foreseeable future.

We also plan to offer some premium capabilities which will be of great use to power users and to businesses for a fee.

—————

Signing up

Why do I have to create an account to use SearchTeam?

SearchTeam enables you to research the Web more efficiently for your personal use and to collaborate with others you trust to search the Web together. This requires the creation of a new “SearchSpace” for each of your topics, which is stored on our server. We need an account, so we can keep your SearchSpaces securely tied to your account. We also need an account for you, so we can keep bad actors from using our system to spam others.

That said, we hate creating new accounts too.

To make this easier, we have enabled you to directly sign in with your Facebook account, your Google account, or your Yahoo ID. If you choose, you can use these methods to sign into SearchTeam, and skip the process of creating an account altogether.

And to make this work even better for you, we are doing two more things:

  • We are adding the ability to let you sign in with your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts as well. This should provide you with more options to avoid creating a new SearchTeam account.
  • We are also going to add the ability for you to take SearchTeam for a limited test-drive anonymously (after we emerge from the beta test phase). i.e. You'll be able to start and use a fairly limited number of SearchSpaces, and use them for your private use only. You cannot, however, collaborate with others while remaining anonymous.

Beyond all this, if you do choose to create a custom account for yourself, you'll see that we ask only for the necessary details like your name and email address. We're trying hard to make this step painless for you.

Can I use SearchTeam without creating an account?

As we explain in the previous question, above, you need to have an account on SearchTeam to use it.

We provide a number of choices to let you sign in without creating a custom account on the site, and we've also made the creation of the custom account as painless as possible.

In a coming upgrade, we will let you take a very limited test drive of SearchTeam as an anonymous user as well.

I've forgotten my SearchTeam password. Now what?

Simply go to the home page of the Forgot Password page, type in your email address, and a password will be e-mailed to you.

—————

Using SearchTeam

What is a SearchSpace?

A SearchSpace is a place for researching a topic of information.

Inside a SearchSpace, you can search the Web, Videos, Images, Books and more. You can delete irrelevant results. You can save results you want to keep. You can organize your results into folders of your choosing. You can place comments on all your saved results. You can do any number of related searches / queries within the same SearchSpace. You can return to your SearchSpace at any time you need in the future and use what you've found, or continue your research.

You can upload relevant documents into your SearchSpace. This enables you to upload your reports, presentations, images, other Office documents, research papers etc. that are relevant to the topic of the SearchSpace, and keep it all together in one place that is accessible from anywhere on the Web using your account.

You can add links to resources that you found in browsing the Web or those that your friends / colleagues shared with you, directly into your SearchSpace.

Soon, you'll be able to compose your own posts inside a SearchSpace to record tacit knowledge you already may have on the topic.

A SearchSpace becomes your personal repository of knowledge on the topic.

What makes a SearchSpace even more valuable is that it enables live collaboration with people you trust!

From inside a SearchSpace, you can invite the people you trust to join you in the search on this topic. i.e. You can have different groups of people collaborating with you inside different SearchSpaces – so you can have a SearchSpace to plan a vacation with friends and your four best friends are collaborating with you on it; you can have a SearchSpace on a group paper due at school in which your group members are collaborators; you can have a SearchSpace at work on a new technology and your five peers are collaborators in it.

Every collaborator in a SearchSpace are literally in the same space together. They can each search, save, organize, comment, like and chat in real-time within the SearchSpace. Likewise, collaborators can upload files, add links, and create posts to enhance the SearchSpace.

As the creator of a new SearchSpace, you can give an invited person read-only or edit access to your SearchSpace, and that way, control the actions you desire from different people in that SearchSpace.

You can have any number of SearchSpaces within your account, and you can access them through your account from anywhere on the Web.

A SearchSpace effectively bridges the gaps between a search engine, a Wiki-like tool, social networking, social actions, and live collaboration amongst trusted people.

Can SearchTeam save my results so I can come back to it later?

Yes, SearchTeam automatically saves your results so you can come back to it later.

What information sources does SearchTeam search?

At this time, SearchTeam searches the Web, Videos, Images, Books and Articles, Reference information (Wikipedia), and a special collection of Educational resources.

We plan to enhance the collection of sources over time.

Where can I find previous searches that I've done?

When you sign back into SearchTeam, your home page is the “Dashboard” and here, you will see a complete listing of all the SearchSpaces you've created before.

—————

Collaborative Searching

How do I invite someone to join a search with me?

If you already have created a SearchSpace on the topic you are going to research, first open the SearchSpace, and then from the right pane, click on the Invite link to begin the process of inviting others.

In the Invite interface, you can directly enter email addresses of the people you want to invite to join this specific SearchSpace, and also add a personal message to them as to why you'd like them to join your search.

You can import your Contacts into SearchTeam and keep them handy to invite others without having to remember their email addresses.

If you have signed in via Facebook, in the Invite interface, start typing the name of a friend, and you'll see that SearchTeam is automatically suggesting names from your Facebook Friends list to join your search.

What do my collaborators see when they join my search?

Your collaborators enter the same SearchSpace that you've created. When they enter the SearchSpace, they will be shown an overview page containing all the folders you've created and the items you've saved.

From there, they can comment on your items / like them, do their own searches and add more resources into your folders, create more folders to cover additional subtopics, or chat with you and other collaborators in real-time.

All changes made by any collaborator are automatically relayed to all other collaborators in real-time, so everyone is in synch with the changes being made to the SearchSpace.

What are the odds that people will be online at the same time to benefit from real-time features?

We do not expect that all collaborators will be online together at the same time.

That is why we've designed the service to enable real-time communications when people are online together at the same time, but work gracefully to communicate updates to others who are not online together at one time.

—————

Privacy and Security

Is a SearchSpace private to me or is it visible to others?

Your SearchSpaces are completely private to you.

You get to choose if you want to invite specific trusted people to search together with you / collaborate with you.

Who can make changes to my SearchSpace? Can anyone on SearchTeam do that?

By default, only you can make changes to your SearchSpace. It is private to you.

If you have invited trusted people to join your SearchSpace, they can make changes to your SearchSpace as well.

If you want to share a SearchSpace with others to view it, but do not want them to edit it, you can control the access by going to the “Manage” link on the right pane of your SearchSpace.

—————

Comparing with Other Search Engines and Tools

Does the Internet really need another search engine?

The popular search engines on the Internet are all still based on the concept of one anonymous person who searches alone.

That kind of activity represents a huge loss in productivity because nothing is saved, nothing is catalogued, and none of the information is shared – and isn't the Internet all about making information easier to find, save and share?

SearchTeam is based on a different paradigm – of searching together with people you trust, tapping into others' knowledge or common interest(s). SearchTeam fundamentally improves search productivity and effectiveness by enabling people to learn from and benefit from each others' knowledge, expertise and experience.

How is SearchTeam different than Google, Bing, or other search engines?

The conventional search engines are very good at returning instant results for ad-hoc searches. But they are not very good at supporting the process of searching for deeper information or researching a topic because they don't have the tools to do so.

At its core, SearchTeam enables you to research the Web for information more efficiently, and for the first time, you can actually do your searches together with the people you trust. In this way, SearchTeam will improve search productivity and effectiveness.

Is SearchTeam really better than Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask?

Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and other conventional search engines are excellent tools for all the types of searches they support.

SearchTeam is built for making the task of researching information from the Web and collaborating and sharing with your trusted circle more efficient and effective. For this purpose, we hope that, with your help, we can make it a preferred tool on the Web.

How much time will I really save when I use SearchTeam instead of Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask?

We don't have quantitative data yet that shows how much time you can save using SearchTeam for your information research needs.

Early feedback from people like you shows that SearchTeam saves a lot of time by:

  • Enabling you to create a SearchSpace for a topic
  • Search across multiple queries and sources in the same context
  • Leveraging our semantic suggestions to rapidly find relevant content
  • Sift through search results faster by deleting irrelevant results and saving relevant results
  • Saving what you find into folders of your choosing inside the SearchSpace, saving more time and eliminating frustration of using browser bookmarks or external bookmarks
  • Returning to your searches at any time later, and avoid losing time wading through pages and pages of stuff you've already waded through
  • Collaborating with others easily and being able to save time in finding what you want together as a group
  • Leveraging the information that is already written (your documents, your collaborators' documents), and tacit knowledge (what you know but hasn't been documented anywhere yet), in a group setting automatically increases the value of the collection, and makes quality information instantly accessible to all
  • Preventing wasted, repeated efforts by different members of the same group

We would love to hear about your own experience with SearchTeam and would love to share your story with the world.

Why can't I just use Google and a wiki to do the same thing, or perhaps a combination of e-mail, Facebook and Twitter to share info?

Yes, you can use Google, Email, Wiki, Facebook, Twitter, and other Web-based collaboration tools to patch together a solution to find, save, organize, share and collaborate together with trusted people.

In fact, this is what we ourselves were doing for our information research needs, and found that this is what others are doing too.

When we began tossing around ideas at SearchTeam, we decided that the Internet needs an approach to searching that seamless supports searching, collaborating, sharing and discovering — all in an interface that can work in real time. This is what SearchTeam delivers. It overcomes a lot of the challenges of modern-day search, an activity that people undertake every day, all the time. (Think about it…most of what you do on the Internet involves searching). Sure, you can share info via email, Facebook and Twitter, but it's always hard to go back and find it again. Wikis are good for content authoring, but they don't support the search process. Bookmarks are great for saving links, but who has time to go back and keep updating/revising lists of bookmarks?

We think SearchTeam solves a lot of challenges: it lets people edit, organize and update their search results in one easy place – called a SearchSpace — and it allows them to search with people they trust in real time. Searching the Internet doesn't get much simpler than that!

—————

SearchTeam in Action

Can you give examples of how SearchTeam has been used in the academic setting, such as in classrooms, schools, labs, etc.?

Students assigned to a class project can use SearchTeam to look for information collaboratively (teaching teamwork, cooperation and search skills). Teachers can use SearchTeam to compile best results for curriculum guides, study topics, resources for gifted students, resources for special-needs students, grade-level skills, homework ideas, discipline tips, etc. College students can use SearchTeam to organize and save information for research papers, term papers, study groups, team projects, etc…

Can you give examples of how SearchTeam has been used in offices, companies, corporations…in the work setting?

Professionals use search team to research vendors, competitors, products, trends, even office supplies. Imagine being able to search for information with a colleague in a different city – with the ability to communicate/chat in real time as you save and delete results that are, respectively, interesting and irrelevant. Companies can use SearchTeam for internal research, external research, information-sharing, market research, etc. The possibilities are endless.

Can you give examples of how friends / family members have used SearchTeam?

Imagine a family planning a reunion collaboratively, with members located from one end of the country to another; together they can choose a location, find a hotel/resort, plan outings, etc. Organizations that promote a particular cause, issue or candidate can use SearchTeam to conduct research, keep tabs on trends/news, update each other on changes/shifts in community opinion or events, identify potential new bases of support, even research possible donors/supporters who can help their cause. The possibilities are endless.

I'm interested in talking to someone about using SearchTeam at my business or school. Where do I find information?

Contact us through the feedback form or send an email to searchteam (at) zaktallc (dot) com, and someone will get back to you right away.

—————