Sometimes in the marketing field, we tend to look at functionality, statistics, and new features too much, and forget about the fun stuff. And really, the internet can just be a fun place to be. If it is crazy or a little off-center, then surely you can find it on the internet. The other day I stumbled on an article by Matt McGee, called “8 Crazy-Cool Search Engines You Should Know”, which reminded me of all the fun there is to be had online. Here’s a quick summary of what he found:
1. Dead Cell Zones: this searchable map shows its users dead cellular zones. Apparently, users are reporting on the zones themselves. For now, it seems to be limited to the USA and the UK, but for those areas and the 100,000 users who have submitted this information, it can answer the question: Is there something wrong with my cell or is your cell dead too?
2. Things You Saw in a Movie: ever want to know exactly what brand of dress an actress wore in a certain movie? Or maybe you can’t quite place the car? Now you can go to this site and find out.
3. Storm Events: this online database by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) provides comprehensive information on weather events back to 1996, and for more intense weather there is information as far back as the 1950s. “You can search for records of dust storms, floods, funnel clouds, wild/forest fires, thunderstorms, and much more.”
4. Pillbox: the next time you find a random pill floating around in your medicine cabinet or purse, you can come to this site to identify it. This U.S. National Institutes of Health search engine will give you possible matches for your pill, and other information about those matches, based on its size, colour, shape and any other attributes. Although the site is in development and warns it is not meant for clinical use, it is a neat idea.
5. TypoBuddy: is the friend of bargain hunters everywhere. Instead of relying on Craigslist and eBay sellers to spell their items correctly, you can now use this search engine to find misspelled posts.
6. Filler Item Finder: Amazon.com provides free shipping for orders of $25 US or more, so it is equally distressing to be 30 cents short or $2 short for your order to qualify. This search engine finds smaller priced items to fill your order gap and get you the free shipping.
7. Storage Front: this site is a “marketing tool for storage facility owners”, but offers full search for storage units in the USA, including loads of features, like climate control and sizing.
8. Soda Finder: craving a brand of soda that’s been off the shelves since the ninth grade? This site is an “online store that offers a search engine for rare, old, and discontinued soda pop.”
Go out and be creative with your ideas, both for your business and for your marketing, and don’t forget to have fun!