Posts Tagged ‘search’

open source search

October 1, 2010

There is an interesting post on open source search / filtering software on O’Reilly blog today.  mepath is powered by open source software from the language – PHP to server – Lunix to database – mysql to server – apache and the actual website is produced using the lifestylelinking open source project.  The game now with all the data is to find the ‘Signal’ in Linkedin words.  That is filtering the content based upon the structured data they hold, professional profiles to company data.  Bring in a twitter stream and the firehose (too much) data.  Can it be filtered to find the best stuff?  This is all great and a step forward but the game changer is when this data gets used to actually make the world go around?  Right now its being used to filter content based upon social capital or professional capital, and while humans have their hands on the levers of business right now this is enough for progress.  But why not get this data working at source to contribute to doing what ever its purpose is?

Personalized search from Microsoft

May 5, 2010

Lili Cheng of Microsoft FUSE labs has been sharing with the web2.0 world their newest service, SPINDEX.  The goal for the services?  To “.  .help you get the most out of your social activity by exposing the right information, at the right time, in a way that’s meaningful.”

WOW, they don’t do small visions at Microsoft.  I think when you combine the right information and at the right time you are framing context.   There is presentation context and authoring context, really two sides of the same coin.  Its search that brings (Bings) the two contexts together.  Not being in SF this week, I did not get an access token to their site but my expectations are for an activity stream UI with some ‘filtering’ UI tools to make it different from e.g. a twitter or FB news feeds.  Lili concludes her blog post by saying, “There’s still much territory to be surveyed. . ” in these early days on the web.  I agree, this context awareness activity stream web will change the face of search.

lifestyle interests

April 20, 2010

The thinking guys over at Techcrunch authored  a post entitled, Facebook To Twitter: Back Off, We Own People’s Interests today.  They talk in terms of a ‘battle line’ being made in the cyber sands over the interests of individuals.  Why is it worth a battle? “Whoever knows what your interests are right now and can package them up for advertisers has the chance to make a lot of money.” the articles states.  I am always reminded to start the economic story with the individual, as the article does in talking about the how ‘interest’ posts will be feedback into a FB news stream of each FB user.  Yes, it is great to connect individuals around interest, it is good to be open and to share, the mantra states.  Create value for individuals then you have an opportunity to share in some of it.

The opportunity to view pictures, videos or to read thoughts or feedback from individuals that share a common interest with you, even though you don’t know them through your existing friends (social) network is a great service.  The semantic web community has used ‘interests’ as the starting point to demonstrate their wears.  Twine now part of Evri.com made a spoof video on what exactly ‘interests’ were?  I guess we all know now.  Why have the semantic search businesses used the ‘interests’ area as the place to enter the market?  When you expand the sources of inputs back into an individuals news or activity stream then the potential volume of posts from the interest community can become vast very quickly, any benefits from connection can be quickly lot in the hose pipe of new updates.  Also, an ‘interest’ is a board category, take skiing, down hill moguls, in Scotland or the Alps.  Yes, Interest can be setup or tagged with increasing granularity but then you have a lot of interest to match yourself too.  OK, algorithms can be crunch behind the scene to help discovery.  I think the semantic and next generation search or filtering startups are just saying, we will do that from source.

Back to the economic value to the individual, if ‘interests’ information help them find or go to or buy a better ski resort, accommodation or pair of new skis then the businesses supporting them on that outcome will get to share in the economic value spent.  Advertising income is a real source of income online, main stay for google et al but I am not sure the best or maximum value is being collected.  Advertising is no small market but I think we as an industry are leaving too much value on the table.  How much extra value is there to be had?  All the costs incurred in advertising, selling, marketing, development, research and IT/Online.  Individuals sit at the top of that food chain, they will benefit the most and those best supporting them will have the opportunity profit well.

Social search Q&A

April 1, 2010

I picked up this article, The Tantalizing Promise of Social Search from a friend on Twitter.  The discovery of this webpage is a real life example of the future promise of social search as set out in the interview with Alexandra Samuel.  The interview discusses both the technical problems and the social problems to be tackled.  With the social ones predicted to be harder to solve than the technical ones.  Alexandra talks about the integration of search and social networks activity streams, in the context of friends or experts.  I think we are all ‘experts’ and the goal is alway to find the right context be that social or knowledge to provide information that solves our query.  Some times the friends in a social network will have the answers to help and be willing to share but at other times friends won’t know but it is highly probable a group of individuals in the world will have the answer.  I like to think of these as ‘friends you do not know about’, that is people who are really important to you but you have never met or have existing social ties with.  Finding this type of unknown friend is the problem we have been working on at mepath.