Posts tagged ‘search’

Why Greplin is my favorite new startup

I’ve talked before about how much I love Greplin:

Greplin is a tool that allows you to search across all your content from one search box. For example, I’ve got my account set up to index my Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Google Docs and Google Calendar. With one search I can surface messages or content from any of those services with Google-like speed. Once they add indexes for Google Voice, Google Reader (both coming soon) and browser history, they’ll cover 99.9% of the personal content I want to search. They already offer lots of integrations including popular serivces like Yammer, Saleforce, Evernote and tools from 37signals.

The value proposition Greplin offers is clear. Often I’ll remember having a conversation without remembering where I had it – was it Facebook? Twitter? Email? With Greplin, I don’t need to remember. They’ll find it regardless of which service I used. It was Greplin that let me find the link to that tweet I included in this post without wasting 5 minutes digging around on I also use it as a context tool for remembering past conversations. For example, before emailing or responding to a stranger, I’ll usually Greplin their name. I’m often surprised to find that we actually met years ago at a conference, were CC’d on the same email or had some interaction on twitter that I had forgotten about. Being able to surface that context in a split second is invaluable.

On Friday, Greplin became even more useful. They now give you the option to replace the default search tool in Gmail. For anyone who uses Gmail search on a regular basis, you know how painful the experience can be. I’ve never understood how the worlds best search engine manages to be so terrible at search inside Gmail. With Greplin, my searches inside Gmail are now blazing fast.

There’s an obvious concern about the security aspect of using Greplin since they have access to all my content and are storing the indexes in the cloud. For me, the value they provide is big enough that I’m willing to take the risk and I’m not one to hand over the keys to my data easily! In this case, the cloud really does make more sense than storing large indexes on my hard drive.

A big part of the reason I’m willing to trust Greplin is because of how much I’ve been impressed by the team. Greplin is a YCombinator company and they have an interesting story of how they got started. The latest features didn’t work for me at first and I mentioned the problem in a comment on the TechCrunch post. I immediately got an email from their CEO, Daniel Gross asking for more details. Today Daniel emailed me to tell me it was fixed and sure enough, it’s now working great. Thanks Daniel!

If you haven’t tried Greplin yet, I recommend you give it a shot. I’m willing to bet you’ll fall in love with it just like I did.


Search plugin for Google Caffeine

I read on Mashable and TechCrunch tonight that Google has released a developer preview of the next version of Google (code name Caffeine).  Wanting to try it out, I did a quick search to see if I could find a search plugin for Firefox.  Finding none, I decided to write one myself.  If you’re using Firefox, you should be able to click here to install my Google Sandbox search plugin.

And yes, I tried to upload my plugin to the Mozilla directory but I keep getting a “Not a valid install package” error.  I don’t have time to trouble shoot this right now.  If anyone can tell me what I’m doing wrong, I would much appreciate it.  I also didn’t have time to figure out Google’s URL to enable auto-completion.  If you happen to know the URL for the auto-complete AJAX request, please let me know in the comments.