In the last three months, I’ve discussed Wolfram|Alpha one-on-one with well over 300 people from all over the world and all walks of life. Wolfram|Alpha is a service unlike any other, and people’s reactions reflect this. When simple analogy is not possible, the discussions take on a whole different tone than that of a typical product introduction.
Here are some of the reactions floating around the web. They reflect the diversity of conversations I’ve had in my one-on-ones. What’s your take?
“While search engines like Google, by and large, find things that already exist on the Internet—Web sites, photos, videos, blogs—Wolfram|Alpha answers questions, often by doing complex, and new computations.” —From The New York Times Bits blog
“Wolfram|Alpha comes in and gives searchers something they have been missing. You can search for very specific things in the realm of science, math, geography, demographics, and so on and get not just the answer, but detailed information from real sources. There is really nothing like this out there at this scale.” —From Search Engine Roundtable
“While many of the demo queries may feel like ways Wolfram|Alpha is being put through its paces, rather than reflecting real life queries, I’m pretty confident we will see some amazing uses of its calculating abilities. As Twitter cofounder Biz Stone recently called Twitter ‘the messaging service we didn’t know we needed until we had it.’ Similarly, Wolfram|Alpha may become the search service we didn’t know we needed—and in particular, the search service we may use in ways completely unexpected from what anyone is envisioning.” —From Search Engine Land
“…[Wolfram|]Alpha excels at not just retrieving the stored data but performing various appropriate numeric calculations on the data, and displaying the results in beautiful graphs and easily comprehended tables for the user.” —From Semantic Universe
“[Wolfram|]Alpha, however, will probably be a worthy challenger for Wikipedia and many textbooks and reference works. Instead of looking up basic encyclopedic information there, users can just go to [Wolfram|]Alpha instead, where they will get a direct answer to their question, as well as a nicely presented set of graphs and other info.” —From ReadWriteWeb
“The next query shows off how the engine can be used for health issues. A search for LDL 180 (a measure of your ‘bad’ cholesterol) displays a graph depicting how that figure stands relative to the general population. Wolfram[|Alpha] then shows how the engine can perform the same task for a different age range.” —From TechCrunch
“Luckily the demo video embedded here walks through a lot of the possibilities this search engine offers, and those possibilities are mind-blowing, especially for a data lover.” —From Lifehacker