Jul 14 2010
I love to shop; I do it all the time. From clothes, to tools, to buying books online, I’m always looking for good deals. And the best way to shop is to be able to compare things side-by-side. This allows you to evaluate items by contrasting similar features and real, hard numbers. It makes it so you can clearly identify pros and cons, compare price-versus-value, show other people (co-workers, a spouse, etc.) exactly why you’ve decided on a particular product. It’s the way I like to shop.
While there are many websites out there that allow you to do this, they only let you compare tangible products and some services. What if you’re not shopping for a product, but trying to decide which breed of dog is right for your family? What if you want to compare colleges? Or technology blogs? Or airports? How about only airports in Spain? Or dinosaurs? You can compare all these things and more, at FindTheBest.
Did you ever wonder how tall the tallest carnivorous dinosaur was? (Seismosaurus – 84 ft.) Or did you ever want to know what the healthiest thing is to eat at Popeye’s Fried Chicken? (Sadly, not chicken: corn.) Yes, there are many more important things to compare. What I like about FindTheBest, isn’t that it helps you compare products and cost. It’s that it helps you reach a conclusion based on what you want. It’s about being able to make an informed decision and decide what’s best for you.
FindTheBest is an unbiased search engine specifically designed to help you make comparisons and, ultimately, decisions. The array of options for narrowing your search is dizzying and comparison “apps” are designed to help you make comparisons that might not otherwise pop out at you. The site is community-driven and users can add/edit listing, suggest new apps, and post reviews and comments.
The website is divided in to nine categories with multiple subcategories that cover a slew of topics you might want to compare. You can compare ski resorts, celebrities, cheeseburgers, dog breeds, pizza nutrition facts, soccer stadiums, and much more. Each entry under the categories is an app that gathers specific information together to answer a question. It’s a way to parse the raw data and present facts in a way that lets you make an informed decision.
After typing in a search term, you’ll find a list of app pages that offer ways to compare aspects of your keyword and also a list of informational pages so you can learn more. Typing in “dogs” for instance, will pop up comparison app pages for dog breeds and dog runs in New York City, as well as information on various dog-related organizations, books, films, and websites. Choosing a comparison page will open up a chart containing information that relates to the subject. Following our example, choosing “dog breeds” brings up images, maximum height and weight, groups of breeds, life expectancy (in years), and temperament. By clicking on a column heading, you can sort the information into groups, and by adjusting the sliders at the left side of the screen (or typing in more information) I can further narrow my comparison. I can choose to see only dogs that weigh less than ten pounds, are hypo-allergenic, and are good with children. So you can hone in on just what you want and then compare those few options side-by-side.
The sign-up process is simple and allows you to participate in the community, which is really where the website begins to differentiate itself from other comparison engines. If there is any missing information that could potentially influence why one product/service/place/thing is superior to another but isn’t listed, you can edit that listing or provide a review on subjects so that another user won’t make the same mistake you did. Things might look good on paper but end up another story after you’ve committed to it. At FindTheBest, you’ve got a voice.
In addition to being able to do your own comparisons on FindTheBest, you can also share your research with the rest of the world. FindTheBest has a share button that allows you to share your findings with Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, and a number of other social networking sites. Also, you can embed apps in your own website or customize a widget for showing information on your blog, website, or HTML email messages.
In an ideal world, it would be a boon to have a way to create your own apps, rather than just be able to suggest them. I’m hopeful this will be integrated into the site sometime in the future. Also, some apps are difficult to understand because if the first column of a group of entries is left blank, it will show up first in the app. Most notable is the “Cell Phone Reception” comparison page, which sometimes lists all of the blank entries on the first page, depending upon how you get to it. It should be noted that the site is only in beta right now, but still has a ton of features and is entirely usable.
FindTheBest is easy to use and share, and it will continue to grow and offer more functionality. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops in the future. There are already a variety of search options and ways to look at and compare information that puts the site head and shoulders above regular search engines. FindTheBest isn’t just a comparison engine; with reviews and facts from a growing user base. It’s a real, unbiased, decision-engine. The best things about FindTheBest isn’t that just that it tells you what’s best. It’s that it allows you to define what you think is the best, and then find it.