Blog posts tagged "search"

When I say “FUD” …

October 22nd, 2009

"Flicker upcoming"? WTF? :)

… I mean Flickr/Upcoming/Delicious. In particular, I mean that brief moment of optimism in the Spring of ’06, on the roof of the Iron Cactus, at the Spread the FUD party, when it looked like Yahoo! had a wedge and the will to solve the social search problem, and magically, I might even get to be a part of that. I said in my cover letter (in silly flowery, cover letter speak)

“The next round of innovation will be about building connections. The explosion of voices, information and ideas is currently outpacing our techniques for coping with them. We need to be helping people and communities find new ways to connect, interact, and work together to make sense of this accelerating decentralization. Innovation has been blossoming at the edges of the Net since the beginning, but innovation is also moving back to the connecting nodes, like Yahoo.”

Which is much on my mind when I hear about Marissa demo’ing social search yesterday.

And I’m deeply puzzled (and not a little disappointed) that anyone would care if Bing or Google can search the public status timelines, if it doesn’t come with social context.

Now the question is can Goog shake their historied failure at all things social.

Photo from Jan Brašna

SF Techsession, Vast, April 1, and Verticals

April 1st, 2006

SF Techsession 2: Communities and Interaction was a vast improvement over the previous one. Better presenters, better products, better questions, better venue, better food, better open bar.

I confess that I was mildly disturbed that I was able to make it two instances of a monthly even in SF given that I love 3000 miles away, but I can’t imagine there is a third topic as close to my heart as community or calendaring.

Vast on April 1st

Apropos, one of the participant, Vast, the “vertical search platform” has the only funny April Fool’s gag I’ve seen. (I’m not a fan of the holiday) They announced their Credit Cards vertical search today, and its a nicely done implementation. (Vast’s trademark low budget web design adds credibility to the whole gag)

Vast is making noise by “giving it all away”, they’re catchy “Steal this Site” link at the bottom of each page captures the imagination. Except they aren’t giving me the one thing that would be most valuable for both of us. I want to build vertical of data I care about, and Vast wants to learn about new segments, talk about an architecture of participation waiting to happen.

My take away was an idea with the same sense of inevitability that Epinions had, and I worried about similar deep conceptual flaws.

Home Rolled Verticals and Blogs

Speaking of which why aren’t any of the blog search engines distinguishing themselves by providing a search platform ala Amazon’s Alexa Web Information Service? While its relatively challenging to figure out how do something cool with Alexa’s raw index (hence the need for DIY interface to Vast), everybody seems to have a story about what they would do if could convincing crawl the blog/conversation space.

The Others

Skobee is a slick and simple as it seems, built by ex-PlumTree’ers (the folks who also built O’Reilly’s Connection. Also presenting Songbird, and Mozes

Social Search and Aesthetic Judgement

March 29th, 2006

Great quote from Thomas Hawk comparing image search engines

“If I were Google and Microsoft right now I’d be thinking about where I could find about 2 million or so users to rank my pictures on the cheap rather than wasting time on all this other stuff.”.

Still I think 2006+ is going to be about rediscovering that smart computers can help us get value from the rankings of handful of personally relevant opinions as well as 2M strangers in aggregate.

update [2006/4/3]: It was pointed out to me that Google has a stake in von Ahn’s ESP game (not to mention a whole new CMU/Pittsburgh lab focusing on data mining and AI).

Another Vertical Search

February 9th, 2006

I’m sure if I could ever get Zillow to load it could be interesting, and for many out there I’m sure HealthLine is useful, but would someone hurry up and launch a vertical search that allows me to find hotel rooms with fireplaces or better yet cabins with woodstoves? (In other news, unseasonably warm or not, I’m tired of New England winter)

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Lucene in Action (and Ferret)

January 23rd, 2006

I’ll admit I’m a freak, but I find a well written programming book as gripping as a well written novel, and have been known to sit down and read them cover to cover. (PofEAA was a page turner!) I’m about a third of the way through Lucene in Action, and it’s excellent: easy to read, compelling examples, deep insight, generally good stuff. A good tech book leaves your mind percolating with the all cool new things you can do with your new knowledge, and LiA is that kind of book.

I’m reading it in the contexts of Ferret and while there are some minor API differences (no Hits class in Ferret but it adds an Index::Index convenience class), for the most part the knowledge is directly applicable.

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