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OPPORTUNITIES for social networking abound on the Internet, but not when it comes to one standard job: using a browser and search engine to comb the Web for information. That task is still typically done solo, because browser displays and search procedures have traditionally been designed for a single user.
Now tools are being developed by Microsoft and other companies that let people at different computers search as a team, dividing responsibilities and pooling results and recommendations in a shared Web space on the browser display as they plan a family vacation, for instance, or research a medical problem.
Also in article: SearchTogether, by contrast, actively supports a group search, said Michael Twidale, an associate professor at the graduate school of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who studies people’s strategies for conducting research jointly.
“SearchTogether addresses a real need,” he said. “People searching for information often want to interact with other people. But most of our information retrieval systems fail to recognize this.”
Thanks to the folks at Lifehacker for pointing out a new search engine, Kosmix. Kosmix has the potential to be extra-interesting for us library-types, who have a healthy respect for browsing as an information-finding method. Kosmix tries to "organize the web so that you can explore, learn and discover."
We're setting up an interview for the podcast with President and Chief Operating Officer, Melek Pulatkonak of the Semantic Search Engine hakia.
Anything you'd like to know about hakia. Here's something that caught my eye on their site:
WHAT DEFINES A QUALITY RESULT?
Quality result satisfies three criteria simultaneously: It (1) comes from credible sources (verticals) recommended by librarians, (2) is the most recent information available, and (3) is absolutely relevant to the query.
Margin of Safety: The Story of Poliomyelitis Vaccine was the #5 book in the "History" category. The book has been removed from the 2008 report. More details here.
I caught Just How Powerful Is Wikipedia? over on Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog. Kelli Shaver whipped up a PHP script to check a list of search terms in Google to see if a Wikipedia link appeared on the first page of results. They ran the Long Top 1000 list from Wordtracker through the script first. The Long Top 1000 list contains the top thousand most searched for keywords over the past 130 days taken from a database of about 300 million searches. Unfortunately, the list has a ton of adult-related search terms, and Wordtracker’s “remove offensive content” filter is more or less useless.
Even so, they found that an amazing 50.2% of the top 1000 searches had a Wikipedia result on the first page. (That’s 502 out of 1000 for the math challenged.)
How can librarians compete with this service? Since many users seem to treat it as a joke, do we even need to? Discuss.
Yes, there are interviews this week. We rarely are able to fit in three but we did this week. First up was author David Michael Slater who discussed his writing career. Following Slater was the CEO of search engine Mahalo, Jason Calacanis. Calacanis talked about his company as well as the search engine field. Rounding out our session of interviews was Tim Darlington, Digital Services Manager at the library of Massey University. Darlington spoke about Massey University being the first of the academic institutions in New Zealand to have its library adopt a discovery layer such as Encore from Innovative Interfaces.
The close to the podcast notes that further answers to the question about choosing librarianship are no being sought. The answers received will be presented by the program's engineer next week. The new question posed was: "Why do you stick with Twitter?" Replies are needed by 0700 UTC on Sunday, August 10, 2008. Folks outside the United States wishing to provide an MP3 recorded answer can use the drop.io powered tool below:
Folks within the United States can also use that tool in addition to being able to call 646-495-9201 and entering when prompted extension 61340. Materials can also be sent as an attachment via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A link to Blake's post about how the process of replying to the question is shown below.
Mahalo, the human-powered search engine
The personal website of Jason Calacanis
The new Encore interface to the catalog at Massey University
A sampling of books by David Michael Slater shown in Worldcat.org
Website of David Michael Slater -- Read More
While it may seem odd to note today compared to perhaps 1996 or 1997, a new search engine launched today. Cuil is a search engine focusing more on analyzing text relevance over ranking pages as might Google. Reactions seen on Twitter today were mixed such as those heard from Chad Haefele, Karin Dalziel, and Engadget's soon to be Editor-at-Large Ryan Block.
CNET's Rafe Needleman wrote at his WebWare site about the launch and how it was not the best. Needleman's post showed screenshots of strange results returned by Cuil. Dalziel also linked to a screenshot she posted on Flickr.
Have you tried Cuil today? What is your reaction to the launch of this new search engine?