And on the 3rd Day, Cuil Lists Itself on Search for “Cuil”

Cuil Appears on CuilNote to self: when creating a new search engine with $33 million in funding, remember to list your website on the front page when people search for you.

Somehow, the Cuil algorithm missed it for a couple of days.  No worries.  Problem solved.  On this, the third day since it’s launch, Cuil has listed itself when someone does a search for “Cuil”.

As reported in TechCrunch and further explored in Soshable, this wasn’t the case for a little while.  In the hustle and bustle of promoting the launch of the site, this one minor detail slipped through the cracks, adding to the flurry of poor reviews that followed hours after its Monday launch.

Here is a screenshot of the search before the algorithm either corrected itself or it was manually updated following the discover of the omission: (more…)

Read More

Search for “Cuil” on Cuil… They Can’t Find Their Own Site!

Cuil LaunchYes, it has been bad.  It is possibly the greatest 1-day reversal of fortunes in the history of the Internet.  Monday started off as a monumental day for Cuil with over 7.4 trillion articles and blog posts written about its launch.  Before Monday ended, it was reviewed by another 471 billion blogs and given a fail rating by all but 11 or so.

If you haven’t heard about it, you didn’t turn on your computer Monday.  Sadly, that would make you one of the lucky ones.  If you haven’t tried it, it’s worth a shot just so you’ll know that we aren’t just picking on it.  It’s that bad.  NetworkWorld said it was cold.  The New York Times pointed out various problems with Cuil, as did IT Pro, ZDNet, an eWeek.

WebProNews was a bit more blunt, saying that Cuil crashed and burned, while AlleyInsider said it was the “Worst.  Launch.  Ever.

All of this is wonderfully scathing, but perhaps the truest testamony against the Google challenger-for-a-few-hours was picked up by Techcrunch.  Erich Schonfield noted that a search for “Cuil” ON cuil did not list their own website on the first page of results. (more…)

Read More

Propeller. Fail.

The reviews are starting to roll in.  There are only two possible conclusions so far: either the community will need some time to get used to the new changes over at Propeller, or the changes were a bad move.  The initial feelings of the community can best be described when you look at the current (as of 12am PST 7-23-08) top front page story.  Here is a screenshot:

Propeller New Design

Not good.  Not good at all.  And yes, for those who don’t use or haven’t been there yet, that is an actual screenshot that was actually accepted by the actual decision makers at AOL.

Read More

Revolt? Day 2, Another Fail Dominates Front Page

One of the first front page stories that stayed at the top of the Propeller “Most Popular Stories” was titled, “ new layout Sucks!!!“.  If you click on the link to it, you get this:

This article has been removed from our system for violating our Terms of Use.

Fair enough.  It was inflammatory and while it may have been a sounding board for disgruntled users, it did not offer a lot of value to the site.  Soon after, an article titled “Propeller. Fail.” was posted and has been the top story on the front page of the site for some time.  Not a lot of value again other than as a eulogy for the original story that was removed, but still, the point was made.  At the time of this article, it has 227 comments.

The question must now be asked: 2 days, several complaints, several poor reviews, and a disgruntled user-base that is expressing itself by keeping these stories at the top — what does Propeller do now?

Should they say “OOPS, nevermind!” and put the old version back up?  Should they just weather the storm that always seems to come when something warm and familiar is changed?  Should they defend their position that this new format is better?


Should they re-market themselves, allowing those who don’t like the new version to leave while pushing for a newer brand of Propeller users?

I hope they do not select the last option.  This is a site that I have enjoyed and defended over the last few months and I would hate to see all of that effort go to waste.  Here is a screenshot of the current front page as well as a screenshot of last night’s front page.

Propeller Fail

Above is now.  Below is last night’s.

Propeller Redesign

There really isn’t anything else to say about it.  The people have spoken loud and clear.

It really could just take some getting used to, but I already miss the old, clunky version.

Read More

Digg Recommendation Engine Enlarges the Gap between the Top Submitters and the Other Millions of Users

A Digg Analysis post on popFAIL reveals an alarming “widening of the gap” between the top users and the middle users. In the report, an analysis was done of the last 500 stories to reach the front page of Digg, a period that encompasses the lifespan of the Digg Recommendation Engine. The results are probably not what Digg had in mind.

31.4% of the stories that have hit the front page of Digg were submitted by 10 users.

Let me repeat.

Digg, the most visited social news voting site on the Internet with 26 million monthly visits has nearly one-third of its front page content submitted by 10 people.

Digg Front Page


Read More