Research Sites for Writers: Collecta

Collecta is well-named. A search engine, Collecta collects results from all over the social web: blogs, comments on blogs, tweets, social bookmarks – even videos and photos.

As with the other search engines I’ve been looking into in this series, I used the term “self-publishing” as the basis of my investigation. Here are two screenshots of the first page of results:

Left-hand sideRight-hand sideAs you can see, it’s an eclectic collection, and reminds me of the sort of lucky dip basket one sometimes comes across in jumble sales. You’re not quite sure what you’re going to find, and there is often a certain amount of tat you have to pick up before you happen upon something that makes all the effort worthwhile.

I think it’s a similar situation here. Some of the results, especially the tweets, look suspiciously like advertisements, but the only way you can really tell is to open the link on the right-hand side.

I did so, and wasn’t disappointed: I came across two more blogs which I didn’t know about before, but which I will be revisiting. They are Zoe Winters’ blog, and Out of My Mind, by Linda Cassidy Lewis.

As I didn’t spot these in either my Addictomatic or Bing searches, my opinion that one should always use more than one or two search engines for any particular line of enquiry has been reinforced.

On the whole, I liked using this, but because of the hit and miss nature of the results, this is very much a case of, as it were, caveat emptor: buyer beware.

Ratings out of 5

Look and feel: 5

Consistency of results: 3

Quirkiness Factor: 5

Overall: 4