Search Engines

Why I Quit Google

Google's top designer Doug Bowman quit the company to join Twitter. Mostly, Doug didn't like how much Google depends on data to make design decisions.

His basic complaint: "When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it. Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board. And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions." This is a portion of his blog post, find it at stop design.

The Online Search Party: A Way to Share the Load

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.

Full story here.

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.”

Kosmix - A "Search" Engine

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."

Ask Semantic Search Engine hakia President and Chief Operating Officer, Melek Pulatkonak

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.

Bookfinder.com removes book from 2008 "Out of Print" Book Trends Report

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.

Just How Powerful Is Wikipedia? (Very)

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.)

What does Cha Cha have that librarians don't?

On public radio's Marketplace program yesterday, I heard this story about ChaCha, a mobile research service that we've seen discussed here before: [1] [2] [3].

How can librarians compete with this service? Since many users seem to treat it as a joke, do we even need to? Discuss.

LISTen: The LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #31

Interviews! 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:
drop.io: simple private sharing
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 [email protected]. A link to Blake's post about how the process of replying to the question is shown below. Referenced links: Blake's HOWTO 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

Twitterati Pan Launch of "Google-buster" Search Engine Cuil

<A HREF="http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2008/07/twitterati-pan.html">Law Librarian Blog takes a look at Cuil</A>

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