My attitude towards the specialist search has been one of curiosity. Technically I’m impressed with them. However, I was curious to see how they were received.

Being curious I wanted to know which is doing well so I did some analysis. Below is a graph of weekly searches on the various search engines (click on the image for a larger version)

So what can we see? Comparing the week ending 7th December 2007 and 6th February 2008, we can see a number of really significant increases in usage. The stars being oral health, infection, respiratory and ophthalmology. We’ve had a few that have actually been reduced – the main ones being cardiology, orthopedics and urology. Overall, 19 have increased usage, 7 have decreased while one – surgery, has stayed the same.

This analysis doesn’t satisfy my curiosity. For the moment the specialist search engines are just there, doing some good, not taking up much of my time. For the first half of this year I’m too busy to give them the thought they deserve. However, perhaps a long period of reflection isn’t going to do anyone any harm.

With two major new projects out in the middle of 2008 and the continued development of TRIP I think the challenge will be to maintain the core values of TRIP and ensure the relationship between all the components is clear and understood.