September 30, 2016

An Alternative Search Tool for Your Tablet


Izik, by Blekko, debuts as the top reference app in iTunes

A new app for the iPad and Android devices uses a highly visual format to provide a different search experience for the tablet user. More than just a pretty interface, Izik—which debuted last month as the top reference app in iTunes—is based on Blekko, the search engine that boasts higher quality results based on human curation.

Enter a search term and Izik surfaces a stack of results based on category. The query “Black History Month” provided a “Quick Answer” up top, followed by related images, recent news, and categories, in this case, “African American,” “Black History,” and “American History.”

Navigation is optimized for the tablet format. So cutting down on keystrokes, users can swipe horizontally to view more results within the categories or swipe vertically to reveal more categories related to your search topic. Pinch to expand a result and share it via Facebook or Twitter directly from the search page.

Gary Price, editor of INFOdocket, cited Blekko, along with Duck Duck Go, as a viable alternative to Google. (“Wary of Google? Try These Alternative Search Tools”)

What distinguishes Blekko is a search tool known as slashtags. This feature enables users to refine results and build curated collections of select Web pages and then search and share those resources with others. So create a collection of Web resources, then share the slashtag with students, suggests Price. “Now, the only sites they’ll be searching are the ones you’ve selected,” he writes.

For a deeper dive into slashtags, creating custom slashtags and embedding them on your website, check out Blekko’s search tutorial.



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On October 14, 2015 Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world gathered for the 6th annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Now available on-demand, this year’s program provides actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and features thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.
Kathy Ishizuka About Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka (, @kishizuka on Twitter) is Executive Editor of School Library Journal.