If you haven’t already, go check out A9.com, a yellow pages for the future. More a reference work than simply a “phone book”, A9 allows users to not only search the yellow pages but it lets you leave notes on the places they find, it shows you what else is in the neighborhood, and sometimes it even has photos of the actual location! In addition, it allows the user to get a variety of other bits of information on the topic, from dictionary and encyclopedia searches to photos to books and movies on the subject. A9 is owned by Amazon, so as soon as I went on A9, it knew who I was and where I lived. It’s nice to be able to get all of these things in one place, and even better that you can customize the display to show only what you really want to see. So far, it seems to be an extremely usable and useful tool.

This is what A9 says about themselves:

The web is easy to use, but using it well is not easy. We are inventing new ways to take search one step farther and make it more effective. We provide a unique set of powerful features to find information, organize it, and remember it—all in one place. A9.com is a powerful search engine, using web search and image search results enhanced by Google, Search Inside the Book® results from Amazon.com, reference results from GuruNet, movies results from IMDb, and more.

A9.com remembers your information so you don’t have to. You can keep your own notes about any web page and search them; it is a new way to store and organize your bookmarks; it even recommends new sites and favorite old sites specifically for you to visit. With the A9 Toolbar installed your web browsing history will be saved so you can search through your whole history (and clear items you don’t want kept). A9.com uses your history to recommend new sites, to alert you to new search results, and to let you know the last time you visited a page.

A9 also has a page about how they were able to create this great resource. I can’t wait to use the “block view” feature when we move to Chicago!!!