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September 08, 2006 08:54 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Great Meld of OPAC & Faceted Metadata Search

A few years ago I commented on the Flameco Project(UCB) at Peterme's website. And just today I stumbled on SearchTools website that mentioned earlier this year that NCSU launched Endeca to utlize the metadata of their OPAC system. It's pretty slick, yup old news, but it was great to see one of my old comments realized 4 years later.

September 04, 2006 07:38 PM Information Retrieval  |   Comments (0)  |   Link
Wanted: Librarians with Good Searching Skills

Kind of interesting that ChaCha.com is capitalizing where search engines fall short...a live person to step you through the reference interview. I like the name of the company, reminds me of the dance moves, you keep moving back and forth not realizing you're really going anywhere until you step back...kind of romantic.

Rethinking Google's system Human-powered search premieres

It was bound to happen...but now with a business model. Why can't folks just ck their local library? I know many in my area actually have something similar without all the banner ads. I checked out their site and it looks as though they have been overwhelmed. Didn't Google already have something like this going on at their site.

January 19, 2006 04:21 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Government Watches the Search Box

Just read this article about the US government requesting information about searchers queries at Google.

Google, US Clash Over Online Searches

This definitely points in the direction of violating our privacy rights. What's interesting is that Yahoo complied to the request. Now I'm having doubts about using these search engines while at home...perhaps I'll use the public library terminals or something. It's just weird if the government is capturing our searching habits even if to uncover terrorism.

December 14, 2004 05:40 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
I wonder how many searches are really academic?

Google announced today that they are working with a few university libraries to digitize books that are already in the public domain. What I'm wondering though is if the frequency of searches are really of this type of material. Is this really the part of the "deep web" that searchers really want? I'm not in academia anymore but I know most of my searches (when I do search) are really around ecommerce or product reviews/comparisons. So does this really enhance the relevancy of search? I will have to give it a try but I would love to hear from librarians out there if it really helps.

September 15, 2004 06:30 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Vignette on A9(Amazon Search)

Amazon to Take Searches on Web to a New Depth (free NY Times Registration Required)

Interesting article reviewing A9's services. This startup founded by Amazon is the research and development for Amazon's search technology. The article describes some interesting features which for me weren't new. The new spin on bookmark history and annotations for the web is how it relates to search. It seems that everyone these days has their "spin" on information retrieval, basically they are finding information, searching information, getting the right answer, or managing information. While Amazon is your typical ecommerce company, Google/Yahoo/Microsoft were mentioned in the article as potential competitors in the search field...I'm not quite sure how Amazon could really play well or if at all on that playground.

April 23, 2004 01:37 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Rags online: Google

There's been a flurry of articles recently on Google's impending IPO.


Reuters(MSN) - Google readies share offering

April 12, 2004 09:35 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
NPR covers the Search Business

The Search Engine Wars

All this week NPR will be posting a series on the Search Business. Commentaries to follow shortly.

March 15, 2004 09:00 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Convergence of search scope

Google & Yahoo are head to head right now in the Internet search arena. One aspect of their offerings that has been very intriguing for me is their "deep web" content. From Fedex/UPS to airplane status of arrival, what these search engines are doing is bringing together semi-structured/unstructured information with more structured information. A few years ago librarians were complaining that search engines don't have it all and would point users to other resources. I think what would have been more exciting if librarians and search engine developers joined forces to bring them together.

The past few years here I've been trying to find ways to show that when people see one search box, it's supposed to find all the information you want. I really feel bad to have to give so many search boxes that various levels of scope and types of information. I really see the future going more towards search engines that can handle all types of content from various sources. I think the next step is how metadata/taxonomies can play a role in making the convergence more of a reality.

I may not be working at Google or Yahoo, but attempting to make this happen on a small scale enterprise environment is an interesting challenge. So if Google/Yahoo(and even Microsoft) are listening...I'm more than up to the challenge of helping bridge the gap.

March 11, 2004 08:32 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
CNET Article: Small search engines

Cnet has an interesting article talking about the little search engines that could...that is take over search spotlight from Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Iv'e tried Eurekster and by far that's the most interesting one since it brings together your social networks and searching. The only problem I see is that different sets of friends in your circle serve different needs in your life and therefore could skew some of your searching.

"Search upstarts storm Google's gates", Stefanie Olsen, CNET

February 19, 2004 03:24 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Search Beyond Google

There has been so much media recently around Yahoo dropping Google as their search provider and Google's forthcoming announcement of an IPO. Over at Tech Review(MIT, subscription required). Wade Roush has done a great analysis of the market and potential tools that revolve around search beyond Google and beyond the web. I'll be interested to see how these new competitors measure up over time.

Search Beyond Google, by Wade Roush (March 2004)

I guess all of this excitement reminds me of my time at Altavista 4 years ago. Google was just starting to overshadow us. Funny enough Altavista is now in the hands of Yahoo and Google is the darling of the search industry.

Products mentioned in the article: Mooter, Dipsie, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Altavista, AskJeeves.

January 26, 2004 10:24 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Google Research Papers

Read about this page of links to research papers written by Googlers, courtesy of SearchEngineWatch.com. If I have time I'll have to review them and annotate. Could be useful if I decide to go back into search interaction/interface design.

August 19, 2003 08:19 AM Information Architecture  |   Link
Resident Sociologist at MS - Social Networks

Paul Festa interviews Marc Smith, resident sociologist at Microsoft Research. "Microsoft's in-house sociologist." It's a good interview of insights in the use of Usenet Newsgroups to analyze social networks and hopfully improve information retrieval(search). Lots of the typical questions regarding spam, and value of short lists to answer questions, however the reason why this was worth blogging, was the fact that there really is a trend converging on the use of IR & social networks to not only help people find information, but also to help people find each other. Yes this is almost like knowledge management, but it definitely is about community. We aren't limited to our physical community, and tools such as Verity K2 or this new MS Aura project I can see a stronger pull towards better IR tools. All the better for us who are trying to find answers to questions.

August 15, 2003 08:58 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Google & Synonyms

Ok, a new feature that totally slipped by me until I read about it in Econtentmag.com. You can use the tilde(~) character just like you can use the plus(+) or minus (-) in your query string. The tilde(~) provides synonyms to the terms in your query. More info at the Goggle Refine Search Help Page.

August 14, 2003 10:30 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Look Up Directory

Found an article by Gary Price on SearchEngineWatch.com on a pretty beefy online search directory tool called Look Up Directory. I can see tele-marketing folks loving this or your local and corporate libraries. This is definitely a bookmark item.

August 13, 2003 09:19 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Google Calculator

Wow. The extension of "search" and "information retrieval" has a new twist. Google now offers their search box as a calculator. They are definitely taking search in the direction I've envisioned. Give the user one search box that can do and find things to solve your question/problem. Pretty interesting!

Overview of Google Web Search Features

August 12, 2003 09:41 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Google's Enterprise Search

CNET article "Google Names Enterprise Search Clients" mentions the decoupling of internet search from enterprise search. One of the comments at the end of the article bothered me.

"Google is the only (company) left playing in both markets. Long term, we believe if you're going to be successful in enterprise search you have to know how consumers search,'' said Berk, who noted that Google is also marketing its product as easier and cheaper to use than those offered by competitors.

I actually believe that internet searching is very different from enterprise searching. Just like searching your local library's catalog system is not the same as searching a research database or Google. I'm wondering if Google really believes they can survive the enterprise search sphere where many have already acknowledged that it's a different market. I was actually having lunch with Avi(www.searchtools.com) a few weeks ago and discussed this same trend of internet search companies separating from their enterprise search siblings...if anything this will probably put more money into research and development rather than two siblings fighting for attention of management and money. Not only are the content areas different, but the motivations for searching, domain/scope of content, and you don't necessarily have inlinking among documents. This is definitely another interest I'll be monitoring over the next few months.

July 30, 2003 08:48 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Networked Information & the Government

I'm totally confused. We want all information networked in some way through publishers, internal networks, the web, but when the government tries to do their job in protecting us we are up and arms about what kind of access they have to searching. Yes in certain cases some could be abusing the access to all that information, but just think of all the bad people out there using networked resources for fraudulant activities. There is always a risk for putting everything online. This article in Wired News _Federal Data Searches on Hit List_ is pretty interesting. The solution as mentioned in the article is to formulate better policies for how that information is gathered and used.

I learned alot during my Florence trip about how US Passports are issued and the level of necessary background check is required to issue even temporary/emergency passports. Knowing that the level of information is required to protect all of us, made me feel better. In that context, it made sense that background checks protect me.

So how does this relate to Information Retrieval, well since 9/11 the government is really pushing the technology for IR and data mining tools. There is this very important need to make sure that information is accessible to many government agencies so that analysts can make the connections for potential threats to the US. Whoa! Sounds big, and there are flaws...lots of the systems where the information is housed are not up to date, there is little or no metadata standardization across these systems, and who is to say that the data is even "true." I will probably monitor these types of stories because it's bound to produce lots of great search technology in the coming years.

July 24, 2003 07:35 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

A combination of various professional organizations(ACM and IEEE) talking about digital libraries from technical infrastructure, metadata, taxonomies, and search.

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

They are already soliciting for JCDL 2004 proposals.
JCDL 2004 | Tucson, AZ | June 7-11, 2004

July 21, 2003 09:21 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Good explanation of "Google Dance"

The Google Dance finally explained By: Serge Thibodeau , 07-21-2003 in Internet Search Engine Database

It just pretty much reminds you that there's true point to companies who claim to help optimize your site for search engines. Coming back to Karl Fast's presentation at IA Summit 2003, search engines are just like people, they look at your content and click on all the links on your site...as long as you write your content well for your users, there should be no need to hire search optimization companies for better placement.

Information Retrieval  |   Link
Amazon to provide full text search of books

Just read in NYTimes, "Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books"(free registration required).

This is really fascinating news. Just imagine if they are successful in negotiating access to the actual content of all the books they already have in their catalog. There are definitely issues, like having to secure the access to the full text content, a business model(like subscriptions) for allowing portions of the text to be accessible online. I can see publishers benefiting from this as well with perhaps some micropayments, greater access for their potential readers.

One of the shortcomings of our basic library catalogs, is that there is a definite separation of physical and online. What Amazon plans to do will probably effect how people do their research for homework, evaluate for purchasing a book online, and who knows whatever else.

I wonder what search technology they are planning to use. We already know that a parametric search technology(with good metadata) defintiely differs from full-text searching of unstructured information.

July 14, 2003 08:38 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Yahoo buys Overture

My gosh...up until now I thought Overture was planning to be on its own to dominate the search sphere after acquiring AltaVista and Fast...but it looks like it was just some behind the scene ploy.

I saw this in NY Times today

Yahoo to Buy Overture in $1.6 Billion Deal (Free Registration Required)

Why does this matter? For the most part as an end-user knowing that I have choices in the selection of using a variety of search engines is great, but when your choice narrows down to only a handful, I don't feel like I'm getting true access to richness of the Internet. Overture already has FAST & Altavista, Yahoo just purchased Inktomi...so who are the players now? And it seems that only a few years ago many were huffing and puffing about Microsoft taking over the browser war and all things monopoly-like.

April 17, 2003 04:14 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Microsoft Search etc.

Neat article in CNET: Microsoft Research seeks better search . As much as I try to follow information retrieval, HCI & Microsoft...this article had tidbits that were quite interesting from all points. I believe I heard some of it from various research conferences, but I look forward to seeing these research ideas as an end-consumer.

April 10, 2003 09:37 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
CHI 2003 & Search Workshop

ARGH!!!! I wish I was able to CHI this year. I found out from Lou today about this really cool workshop with some folks I know talking about search.

Search Workshop Submissions

Information Retrieval  |   Link
Search Logs & Content Analysis Following

Was reading up at BlackBeltJones and stumbled on the recent research by Martin Belam on BBCi Search. I'll probably follow Martin's research since I'm trying to establish some methodology for search log analysis here at GSB.

Some hilights from Martin's site:
talking for the uk upa on april 15th
bbc training & development: with presentation slides available.
a day in the life of bbci search

I also thoroughly enjoyed BBCi's IAMags Hanley's presentation(ppt) on content modeling during the IA Summit in Portland, OR.

April 09, 2003 10:09 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Search Engine Watch Redesign

I follow Search Engine Watch pretty religiously since much of my work revolves around search engines. Today they launched a new look. I like the information design since I can distinguish ads vs. content and I can browse more easily through the their current vs. archived materials.

April 02, 2003 09:40 AM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Information Retrieval & Library of Congress

Some highlights of questions related to taxonomies/thesauri/content management/enterprise IA/search:

Merging thesauri...do it or not?
What other tools besides meta-tagging?
What are topic maps? How can you use them for aiding discovery?
What are the critical compoonents for enterprise content management strategy?
What are the alternatives to meta-tagging?
How does metadata help you visualize information? Which projects should people be watching?
and more...

The video archive can be located at the FLICC website. | My Notes from the Webcast. (Word 2000)

January 02, 2003 08:33 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Search Engines Site

Found a new site that is pretty much an enycylopedia to search engines.

Search Engine Guide

December 28, 2002 04:50 AM Information Architecture  |   Link
IA on my mind

Where is IA these days? I keep asking myself this over the past 6 months. Just when I thought I was going to ramp up again with the community I had to really step back and take inventory. I was confused and wondering where is this all taking me? Where is what I'm doing taking the community? Where is the value-add when I watch the SIG-IA list almost dissintegrate before our eyes. I'm frustrated and I'm trying really hard to be patient with what I see. I'm burned out and I'm totally out of the loop. Do I want back in? Is it worth it? Is it where I want to be?



October 25, 2002 03:11 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
XML overview for Information Professionals

Two articles from ASIST Bulletin October/November 2002 issue.

What Can You Do with XML Today? Jay ven Eman

Automatic Indexing: A Matter of Degree Marjorie M. Hlava

I thought the articles were informative from an introductory level. So if you're interested in XML and Automatic Indexing take a few moments to peruse the articles.

October 16, 2002 06:19 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
Congratulations Christina

October 10, 2002 10:47 PM Whine  |   Link
Whining Part 2: Find, Locate, Search, Look For It...

It's been a few years now since I first got hooked onto the web and first entered my first search query into a web search box. So Google gets me what I want most of the time, but it's not always the only search engine I go to. Just like newspapers, I like to go to a few other engines to get a good mix of what I'd like to get.

My search experience...


October 03, 2002 10:21 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
JJG & Book Launch

Remember seeing that really cool diagram in the IA's cubicle the other day, you know the one that looks like this? Well the brains behind that diagram, just published a book describing the various components and why it's good for your business.

Elements Book Cover
Jesse James Garrett
The Elements of User Experience(2002), New Riders Publishing

April 15, 2002 08:54 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Search Engine Meeting 2002

Currently attending the Search Engine Meeting 2002 at Hotel Nikko(SF).

Search Engine Meeting 2002 | Presentations

The subject matter is definitely interesting...search. A good mix of academics and practitioners talking about real world business problems, but also providing insight on emerging search strategies and technologies. I will write up some thoughts over the next couple of days.

December 14, 2001 09:57 PM Information Architecture  |   Link
Fellow GSLIS Alum in Print

Website Redesign Book Cover
My colleague Jeanene Landers-Steinberg, Director of Web Operations for Schwab Learning Foundation has a chapter in Darci DiNucci's new book, Adobe Master Class Website Redesigns.

I would like to also recommend you go ahead and check out Schwab Learning for resources on learning differences.

September 20, 2001 10:05 PM Information Retrieval  |   Link
Searching Behavior & Taxonomies

Lots of great stuff happening on the SIGIA listserv on searching behavior and taxonomies.

I'm hoping with this interest in search and taxonomies I could probably share more of my experiences with content granularity, metadata, taxonomies and search. The future looks good in these areas. :o)