Google Expands Its Reference Section With Its Own Dictionary

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An artistic rendition of a virtual dictionary.

Guess what? Google has it’s own dictionary now.

Google has quietly rolled out its own online dictionary, complete with multilingual support and accompanying photos. The new site was first discovered by the LA Times Tech Blog, and you can access it at Google.com/Dictionary.

It works exactly as you’d expect: type in a word, and Google will give you the definition, part of speech, and maybe a similar phrase or two. If you’re logged in, you can star a word for future reference.

The new dictionary obviously isn’t good news to the many other web dictionaries. Answers.com, in particular, stands to lose out, as it is currently Google’s default whenever a user clicks the “define” link on a Google results page. The Times article says that Google now uses its own dictionary as the default, but I’m still seeing Answers.com as the source, so apparently the switch isn’t live for everyone.

 

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Startup Junkie Underground Discusses Customer Roles in Product Development

Startup Junkie Underground

July’s Startup Junkie Underground saw Jim Mooney, founder and CEO of References-Online, telling the story of his business and the influence his customers have had on its development. According to Mooney, he has been able to turn “one good idea” into a successful business employing over 20 people without ever taking on outside financing. With a background in business-to-business sales, Mooney knew firsthand the difficulties in connecting a prospective customer with a reference customer. The task was especially difficult for new companies that might have relatively few customers, as even a customer willing to provide a reference may tire of the process after a few calls. Mooney’s idea was to create recorded references that were easy to access but with less marketing spin than “the glowing testimonials found on the corporate website.” References-Online’s initial product were audio recordings of interviews with reference customers, all conducted by a third party and available online. The interviews were split into short segments of about a minute in length by topic to allow prospective customers easy access to the information (Mooney notes that in seven years no prospect has ever hit the “play all button”), and also allows companies to track what information was of interest to the prospect and tailor future messaging accordingly.

 

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