Online Innovation July 12th, 2009
Yahoo! is formally making its online notepad service, Search Pad public. This enhanced tool when launched will be accessible to a wider global audience. Unveiled in February this year, this utility tool has had limited availability to people and was in its beta phase. Users all around the world will now be able to work with this handy ‘online note-taking tool’ that allows to collect any information from their search results into a single page. This page can then be used for future reference. The improved Search Pad also can be used to save and share notes, links and website content when users search on Yahoo!
In simple words Search Pad is a manual note-taking application integrated into Yahoo! Search. To quote Yahoo! “Search Pad is a note-taking application that automatically tracks and organizes sites you find on Yahoo!”. Yahoo! termed it as an ‘online personal research assistant’ which helps assist people in capturing and sharing information related to their researches. Earlier sharing of those saved contents could be achieved only through emailing, but with this new launch, Yahoo! makes it possible via its own social bookmarking service Delicious and also through Facebook and Twitter.
It doesn’t require a Yahoo account to use Search Pad but if you want to save your search sessions you need to login. By default Search Pad is on when we use Yahoo Search, and it will ask whether the user wants to take notes on search results or findings. If the user wants, then she/he can view in a pop-up window the sites visited for the search together with a description and thumbnail of each page. There is a manual option to launch Search Pad in Yahoo! search. Search Pad allows the user to copy and paste the content from a page, and Yahoo can trace back the link from where the information came. Currently, this online note-taking tool is available only with Yahoo! Web search engine.
Google also had a facility similar to Yahoo Search Pad ‘Google Notebook‘ but they recently stopped the service and are no longer accepting any new users.
Search Pad is certainly an interesting piece of innovation from Yahoo!. By combining the functional features of online notebooks and social bookmarking sites, Search Pad offers users an easy way to organize the information they find online. The tool will become an online option for people who save information they find on the Web in word processing files or scraps of paper, and by creating browser bookmarks.
Unlike the typical notepad type web applications this one definitely aims to encourage more users to search on Yahoo! It is clear that Yahoo! is hoping that Search Pad can contribute to its search engine market share which has taken a beating these days from Google and Bing. Only time will tell how much this will help to invigorate the search engine.