Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello Firefox!


KallOut has been re-written from the ground up to runs as a stand-alone Firefox add-on. This is the first cross-platform version of KallOut. We support the Mac, Linux and PC version of Firefox and only require a 26KB download to run. Here is what one user said:

"I have 70+ Firefox extensions, all chosen and kept with greatest care, so I'm very cautious as to adding any new one. But KallOut has to be included, because it is well thought, very handy, functional, unobtrusive. Bravo and thanks for a great product."

We are working on an API that will allow anyone to customize the menu and developers to write their own KallOuts. If you're interested, follow @KallOut on Twitter and sign up on the developer page.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stay up-to-date with the latest KallOut news

Did you know people in over 119 countries have tried KallOut? In addition to the blog, we now have a number of ways to keep KallOut fans located around the globe up-to-date with the latest product news:

1) Follow us on Twitter. We post interesting links and updates on our twitter feed.

2) Join our Facebook Page. The Facebook Page is a great place to meet other people that are using KallOut and discuss things on the forum. There is even a place where you can upload your own KallOut photos and videos.

3) Email Us. We really like hearing what people think of the product. If you have a great idea for how KallOut can improve contact us via email. Some of our most popular features (Custom KallOuts, tear-off windows, LinkedIn BestGuess, etc.) have come directly from user comments.

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Attention Developers:

Stay tuned because an update is coming soon to the KallOut API. Sign up on our developer page to gain early access.

Friday, October 10, 2008

KallOut is a finalist in the Yahoo BOSS Mashable challenge

KallOut is a finalist in the Yahoo BOSS Mashable Challenge. The contest runs until this Sunday and the winner will get $2000 and an article in Mashable. We want to win and need as many votes as possible before the contest ends.

Take a second to show your support and Vote for KallOut. You can also help out by spreading the word on Twitter or your blog. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TechCrunch50 was an Awesome Venue to Launch KallOut

This week we've been an Exhibitor at TechCrunch50 and announced the First Public Beta of KallOut. The show has been great for KallOut which was virtually unknown before the show. Even though we weren't eligible to be one of the TechCrunch50 companies because we'd had some earlier press about KallOut, we were able to be Exhibitors in the DemoPit.


This format allowed us to show off KallOut to the attendees as they walked by the DemoPit on their way to and from the sessions. In between the sessions, there was a nice long break where folks could meander through and take a few minutes to hear about KallOut. The audience quality couldn't have been better with tons of press contacts (with color-coded badges for easy spotting :) ), BizDev folks from top Silicon Valley companies and lots of VCs as well (both east coast and west coast).


In addition, the panelists and experts were a who's who of Silicon Valley and the blog-o-sphere thought leaders. Someone who I hadn't met before but really impressed me was Mark Cuban. He spent the extra time to walk the entire line of DemoPit companies (probably more than 50) and took a minute or two at each table listening to the entrepreneurs and grokking what they did.

All in all, this was well-worth the price and we would highly recommend it for any startup that wanted to launch their company/product.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we'll wait and see with regard to possible funding leads for KallOut but press articles, blog mentions and traffic to our site have already exceeded our expectations.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Search is Not a Zero-Sum Game

Aaron Goldman just wrote in SearchMediaInsider to say, "Here are the 10 Steps I would take to win the Search War between Google and Microsoft 'If I Were Running Microsoft'"

As one might expect, Aaron focused the first 3 steps on acquisitions of the search businesses of Yahoo, AOL and Ask. By Aaron's calculation these steps would allow Microsoft to buy an incremental 28% of the search query pie and add it to its current 10% share which would result in 62% share for Google and 38% share for Microsoft.

If Aaron had stopped there, the problem with his solution would be that it presumes "Search is a Zero-Sum Game" where the only way to gain traction is to buy the share of other players or steal some of the share from the dominant player. Many experts who analyze the search industry start with the assumption that there are a relatively fixed number of search queries per day per user (around two in the US) and conclude that there is no easy way to grow this number.

Fortunately, Aaron didn't stop there.

His 4th step suggested that Microsoft acquire Vibrant and KallOut because they represent, in his words:

"... alternative search starting points. Vibrant and KallOut have both created new search inventory by activating keywords in content -- Vibrant through hyperlinked text and corresponding ads and KallOut by allowing you to highlight any string of words and get instant search results. Getting to people before they get to Google is the best way to continue to close the gap once the Tier 1 engines are consolidated."


I believe this observation makes Aaron one of the first of the search intelligentsia to recognize that search is not a zero-sum game and we feel honored that KallOut made his list of companies that Microsoft should acquire in order to be competitive with Google in search.

Even though we don’t really want to be acquired, Aaron is right to spot the emergence of the “selection-based search” category as one of the future battlegrounds in the Search War between Microsoft and Google.

While “browser-based search” will always be important, our early data shows that “selection-based search” can generate an incremental number of total searches per user per day that ranges from 1x to 3x the number of browser-based searches. At scale, this tripling of the number of search queries performed has the potential to dramatically increase the size of the search query pie and convince the world that search is not a zero-sum game.

The key to KallOut's high level of usage is the way in which the KallOut user experience lowers the barriers to search. The three characteristics of KallOut’s selection-based search system that make this possible are the ways in which users can now:

1. invoke search using only their mouse from within the context of the Microsoft Office suite of apps, Adobe Reader, any web page, etc.,

2. receive search suggestions in the form of BestGuess menu items that are based on the context of the selected text and the wisdom of crowds,

3. view the results in floating information palettes (aka KallOuts) which can be sized, shared, docked, closed and stacked on top of the document that has the user’s primary focus

By providing a new way to search using only a mouse, KallOut is beginning to prove Aaron's thesis, that Search is Not a Zero-Sum Game.

We really appreciate Aaron writing about KallOut. It means a ton to a small company like ours to get this kind of press.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

KillerStartups Comments on KallOut as a Cool Killer App

We're pleased that KillerStartups.com liked KallOut and the way it "saves time and hassle."

Here are their words, for Why KallOut Might Be A Killer:

"Not having to open up a new browser tab to search definitely saves a lot of time and hassle when wanting more information within texts. KallOut is easy to use and offers users the ability to store their different palettes in custom docks that auto-hide themselves and are revealed by simply mousing up to the top of your screen. However, KallOut currently can only be downloaded by those who use Windows XP or Vista. "


They also asked the following questions:

1. Will KallOut ever be available for Mac users?

2. How does KallOut compare to its competition?

3. Where can KallOut go from here?

These types of posts really help us spread the news about a new way to search using only your mouse and we really appeciate them.

WRT their questions:

1. Mac Version -- as you can see on our employment page,
we are looking for a Mac developer to build a version of KallOut for that platform. We love the Mac and want to make sure it is fully supported as soon as possible.

2. Competition -- KallOut is really the first of its kind to offer a new way to search over an Office document, Adobe PDF or web page using only your mouse. Our BestGuess menu suggestions are a big step forward and our goal is that most of the time what you want will be in the two or three BestGuess choices. If not, we also want to have the largest list of best-of-breed sites supported.

3. What's next -- We have lots of plans ourselves for extending the KallOut platform and opening it up to third party collaboration. We've done a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of creating a way of extending and enhancing 3rd party apps and we want other developers with great ideas in the area of new KallOut Content Providers to contact us about getting their improvements to our users. We also know that in a brand new category like "selection-based search" there will be new ideas that the community will come up with that we haven't thought of. So, if you have any suggestions, please send them in to LeeL@KallOut.com

Thanks again to KillerStartups.com!!!

Our First KallOut Press Story

Yesterday, we received our FIRST PRESS STORY on KallOut.

I want to thank Rafe Needleman of CNET who wrote the piece and did a great job capturing the essence of KallOut. Especially encouraging was the way in which he summed up the article:

"It's completely unobtrusive yet there when you need it. If you do a lot of Web searches based on things you read while surfing, or need reference works while you're writing, I recommend it. It's a good tool." - CNET WebWare

In fact, we liked it so much, that we put it on our home page.