Blinkx to Launch

The parade of would-be Google dethroners continues, with the launch of Blinkx this week. In the extended entry is the release, I posted on it earlier here……

b.gifThe parade of would-be Google dethroners continues, with the launch of Blinkx this week. In the extended entry is the release, I posted on it earlier here

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For Immediate Release

By Making The Engine Invisible, Blinkx Ushers in A New Search Era

New Web and Desktop Search Tool Brings Search Results Before You Ask

JULY 22, 2004 — SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A free new search tool that thinks and links for you, eliminates the need for keywords or complex search methods, easily finding the information you seek whether it is on the Web, in the news or buried deep within files on your PC.

Launched today, Blinkx ( uses the latest self-learning algorithms to understand the context of what you are reading on your computer screen, such as documents, e-mails, Web sites, news articles, blogs and even videos. As you scroll through the text, Blinkx works in the background to instantly connect to related information on the Web and on your PC.

According to Blinkx co-founder, Kathy Rittweger, Blinkx is more than a search engine: “When we were developing Blinkx, we learned that people really just want to get to their destination. They’re not interested in the machinations and complexity of the engine…so we simply put the engine back under the hood where it belongs.”

“By eliminating the mechanics of search, such as keywords or sorting through dozens of unqualified results, we drive users more quickly to their goal: finding something, even if they didn’t know it was there!”

Blinkx Gives PC Users Complete Control Over Information on the Web and on the Desktop

Blinkx is FREE to download at Once loaded, Blinkx continually reviews what you are reading and sweeps the Web and your computer – silently and in the background – to generate links related to the concepts. These links change and refresh as you scroll through your information. By highlighting a word or paragraph, Blinkx will restrict its search only to information related to the selected text.

There are two ways to work with Blinkx:

Reactive Search generates recommended links without the user having to do anything – just click the mouse on the toolbar on top of the screen and a pop-up menu provides a collection of links to related information and summaries of their content.

Proactive Search allows users to click on an icon that rests in the system tray to input ideas using a natural language query (or old-fashioned keywords) to manually search for related concepts. These concepts are delivered according to where the information is available, on the Web, in the news or on your computer. You can even specifically search for things just in your email, or for only Word documents etc.

Blinkx Features

Blinkx channels scout for information in all the places relevant to you. Links to information are provided through five dedicated Blinkx channels:

• General Web sites
• Web-based news sources
• Web-based video and audio sources
• Web logs (blogs)
• Your local hard drive

The company will continually be introducing new Blinkx channels dedicated to commercial Web-based information, products and service providers.

Blinks scouts for information in all locations relevant to you. Blinkx not only searches the Web, but your local hard drive. In the near future, Blinkx will offer the ability to search other data locations, such as an attached hard drive or networked PC.
Blinkx scouts for information in all digital formats relevant to you. When searching various data locations, Blinkx will search for over 200 media types, such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents, attachments to e-mails, Acrobat PDF files and even video and audio clips. 

Blinkx respects privacy. Blinkx does not collect any personal information about a user. The application is stored entirely on your computer and searches in an outbound fashion. As a result, we do not collect information about what is on your machine, where you have visited –not even an e-mail address or a cookie. We simply provide links based on what you see on your screen.

Today, Digital Information… Tomorrow, Digital Lives

As users grow to commonly access more and more information digitally through their PCs, Blinkx will evolve with them, allowing them to intuitively and immediately access other media such as DVDs, music, digital photographs or home movies.
“With a future where much of our life will be digital and portable, Blinkx will continue to evolve to reflect the growing need to make sense and link together all our digital world,” said Suranga Chandratillake, co-founder of Blinkx.
About Blinkx
blinkx ( is a new company that is extending the way people find and use information on the internet and their own computer. In addition to traditional search such as that from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Ask Jeeves (Nasdaq: ASKJ), Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), and AOL, Blinkx understands and links relevant information anywhere and in any format: on the Web, in the news or on the desktop – automatically, accurately and quickly. Founded in 2003, Blinkx is a privately held firm headquartered in San Francisco.

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42 thoughts on “Blinkx to Launch”

  1. Did anyone get it to work? I downloaded and ran it on my work PC just to have a blank window staring at me, no suggestions to index the hard drive or hook it up to Internet search engines. The first couple of searches for the keywords I knew were on the hard drive returned 0 results, so it was back to Add/Remove Programs for me.

  2. Alex, what I noticed about the program is how slimmed down it is, there’s no menu to set your preferences, it just automatically starts indexing your hard drive and starts working after a few hours.
    Try the ‘Reactive search’ toolbar rather than clicking on the taskbar, that’s the most useful part of it.

  3. Many people seem to be going ga-ga over this, but I think if the boom/bust showed us anything, cool technology does not a business make, how do they plan to make money? More importantly, their web search is very slow and the results aren’t great. I know they are trying to bypass keywords, but that is the current paradigm of search, and that is how people operate.

  4. John,
    I’m surprised at you, posting a press release with no analysis.

    I tried Blinkx when you posted about it earlier. What a dog. It spent 12 hours one night trying to index my 80gig drive and never finished. The web search results were ridiculous. It has been removed from my computer.

    Did you even try the product before puffing it and posting the press release?

  5. Alex, know what you mean. Had problems at first myself but after a while it started bringing back some really cool results. Am thinking perhaps it was a server problem or something…

  6. Victor, was also wondering how on earth they were going to make money out of it but then noticed the shopping kart so expect they will make their money through commerce. Think for keyword search i’d still use Google but in terms of linking i’ve found nothing else that can match it, anyone?

  7. Rob, The programme does have a way to set up which files it looks at. If you click on the ‘b’ in the task bar, it’s under settings. The user interface is very simple, but the help is utter crap. I think the real time linking on the menu bar is really awesome and I do use it to find files on my hard disc, but not on the web.

  8. Rob, The programme does have a way to set up which files it looks at. If you click on the ‘b’ in the task bar, it’s under settings. The user interface is very simple, but the help is utter crap. I think the real time linking on the menu bar is really awesome and I do use it to find files on my hard disc, but not on the web.

  9. Hey Tim, all….I am on book leave, so I’m not going to test everything that is released. Blinkx was getting some buzz and so I posted the release, called it a “would be Google dethroner” – maybe the dryness did not come through the ascii – and left it at that. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you all have banged on it and determined it ain’t working as advertised.

  10. Its a version thing , I tried it about a week ago with a few problems , yesterday I installed 101 and its much much better, good hardisk searching a new interface and much better web results. I think the confusion is some people are using the older versions and some the new.

  11. Am impressed with the amount of coverage this is receiving? Anyone know who’s behind it all…hearing all sorts of rumours…

  12. Wonder if this could be a possible Amazon ownership? Wouldnt surprise me if they were keeping quiet about this because of potential conflicts with A9

  13. Roland, I must have an older version, there’s no settings option for me from the taskbar.
    So far, I’ve found the results to be very relevant, and it’s interesting to take one of the steps out of the process of searching like this does.

  14. Rob, I’m running version 0.3.102 which gives me a fast indexing option when i click on the blinkx icon in the taskbar – have found this invaluable

  15. Bizarre, my version has neither the fast indexing option, nor even “settings”, just disable, help, and about. Maybe thats why I was underwhelmed πŸ™‚

    Thanks for posting this, John. It is definately hot on the words of search folks these days. Just because I am not impressed, doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. In the hands of another company that needs this, it could bea great product.

    I will once again, however, stand up for keyword searches πŸ™‚

  16. I was using 0.3.96, that had no settings options at all.
    If the fast-indexing is very useful, you better not uninstall the version you have because it’s not in the latest 0.3.103

  17. That does seem a bit strange, perhaps because its still in beta phase they were testing it out or something…


    Agree: potential 4 blinkx to be a great product

    Disagree: keyword searching the way forward

  18. seems that i’m late to this one.

    downloaded today – guess they must have made many improvements since it was first mentioned here. v3.110 seems to have addressed many issues.

  19. This product inevitably has faults as do all software products. But the linking ability blows me away – i’m amazed that MSFT can’t allow you to search across all Office formats in the way blinkx can.

  20. went to upgrade to 3.110 but it’s now 3.119 – these guys move fast! AND found new visual search feature, very cool

  21. Hadnt noticed this before: by right clicking on the blinkx b in the taskbar and selecting settings you can select the channels on the toolbar – this seems to me that these guys must be thinking about adding more channels

    anyone give a steer on where this is going?

  22. saw a press article recently (think in Infoworld) and they said that they were adding other content sources so i guess its a multi-channel model with more multimedia and driven by user selection, which would b neat. almost a perosnal directv!?!

    btw: anyone played with the vis thing? like the relativity of it wher i can rotate it to have my current interests in sharp focus by holding down the left mouse button while moving around

  23. There is a new video search page you get to it by clicking on the mag glass in Blinkx and going to video…it has this really nice preview feature on the search for video news clips. You seem to need to use queries with a few words so I guess it must be phonetically mathcing the audi0 in the news clips…its pretty impressive but only seem to have two channels the BBC and ITN?? currently..its worth checking out…hope they get more channels

  24. Hadnt discovered the video page, thanks its really useful

    these guys are frustrating!!! they produce a great product and dont give enough tips on how to find the cool stuff!!

    did you know that if you highlight a chunk of text it gives u relevant links based on that.

    again, great but i stumbled upon it by accident.

  25. Keyword search is the only reasonable way to search stuff on the net.

    Blinks is doing the same old keyword search behind the scene with AI that won’t ever match my own brain…

    So why bother?

  26. Any body remember a program called Kenjin… came out a few years ago… Claimed to do what Blinkx is doing now! So it’s not a new concept. Only Kenjin didn’t really work and sank with out trace, as far as I can tell!

    I’m downloading the 0.3.122 beta for Mozilla… Will give it a try… sounds like it has some pretty cool features! Better than Kenjin managed!

    Here is a link to a Kenjin article… For your information…

    Hmmm… looking at the article, there is no way to download the application… so perhaps distribution was where they failed!

    Sure it’s free.. but how do we get it???

  27. John, I bet you havn’t tried it…when you do you find this is different to search. With search you have to decide to look for something. Blinkx gets compulsive as you wander around from page to page learning new things you didn’t even know were there (or know to seach for). It does haqve all the usual keyword stuff as well for the web, your email hardisk etc. Horses were all I needed to get around town till I start using the car!

    Simon -I downloaded it from but its also on

  28. This tool is good. Kewl. I have installed and its running smooth. Good Search Result as far as Local Hard Drive goes. Catch: Doesnt have support for Network Drives.

    John w.

  29. You know, grep is the only format-independent search tool, except for some more obscure indexing utilities like one I’m working on. Most tools require a parser that knows the source file format and can cope with errors, etc. Grep can find any string in any file format, provided it’s encoded the way you think it is when you write the regexp.

    The only problem is multi-document files like mbox’es, or other concatenated archives. Then you don’t know which document got the hit, unless you also know and search for the delimiters between docs.

    And, of course, there’s that O(n) search time.

  30. I haven’t had any problems with indexing- blinkx took care of my 60gig hd overnight as well. the conceptual search gives me some pretty relevant results, and with the smart folder function i don’t even have to be at my computer to do research. you can’t exactly do that with keyword search.

  31. Blinkx 2.0 came out the other day. When I downloaded it, it took all of 3 minutes. There were no problems and I was busy searching my hard drive and the web simultaneously, within minutes. What I really like about Blinkx is that it’s implicit query feature actually learns what kind of topics interest me.

  32. I agree with you Simone, blinkx is great because of the implicit query feature , that looks up what you are interested in. it took me like 3 mins to download as well, i highly reccomend this desktop searcher.

  33. Hi Rob-

    I wanted to respond to your message above. That is werid you had problmes with blinkx 2.0, it took me no time at all to get on my pc. I did have some inital problems with the 1.0 version so i just emailed the feedback email address and they got back to me right away with answers. you should try that if yo uare still have issues.

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