Going Commercial

Like many other bloggers, I’ve decided to give Google’s AdSense a test run.

I suppose I’m most interested in the type of Ads that get served on subsequent posts. Specifically, the context matching of content to Ads. So far it seems to be working well.

However, I do wish Google offered more flexibility with the style and sizes of the Ads.

The Search for Intelligent Search

The latest in Tim BrayÂ’s series on search

I think this one is the best yet. Here’s a quote:

“Consider what a really intelligent search engine would have to do. It would have to read an arbitrary selection of documents in an arbitrary selection of dialects and styles, and ascertain what they are about. Then, it would have to look at an arbitrary query, once again in an arbitrary dialect and style, and ascertain what it is about. Then it would have to match the about-nesses of the query against that of the documents and return the right documents.”

“…intelligence in search requires deep processing of human languages, which (many believe) is the single most important defining characteristic of human intelligence.”

Discovery Systems on the Road to Business Intelligence

Today must be research Wednesday for me, because here’s another great article on search. This one, from the latest issue of DM Review,
is specifically talking about “Discovery Systems” in relation to BI:

“Leading enterprise search and classification vendors, including IBM, Verity, Inxight and Stratify, have recently introduced “discovery systems” designed to automatically identify important relationships and trends within documents and document collections.”

Microsoft Targeting Google

Some interesting quotes from this article on CNET News.com about Microsoft new search initiatives:

“The fact that Longhorn is on the horizon raises questions to whether search services will be integrated into the Longhorn experience and what the ramifications will be to other folks,”

“Microsoft’s target will be to create little perceived difference between Web search and local search,”

“Ballmer identified search as one area where Microsoft will offer “new end-user functionality and services.” As part of his “integrated innovation” message, he said the company needs to “reach out broadly” through search, consumer services and other avenues to grow.”

“If Microsoft holds true to form, signs of its custom search engine will soon proliferate. As the company proved with browsers, media players and so many other products, it has myriad distribution points at its disposal and can exploit them at will to increase usage and market share. Already, sources close to the company say that it plans to incorporate a search toolbar into the Internet Explorer browser that will use MSN’s new engine.”

Now that MSFT has much of their core services in check, I think it makes a lot of sense for them to focus on the unification of seach and the classification of unstructured and structured data at the file system level.

Fresh slices of the RSS Pie

There’s a lively discussion on diveintomark about the road map for a new syndication format (i.e. a new version or RSS), which is in-and-of-itself a discussion of sorts on Sam Ruby’s Wiki currently known as Pie, but that name may change.


I can hardly formulate a coherent opinion at the moment, let alone try to evangelize RSS to business associates and colleagues — as Tim Bray pointed out recently

I sure hope this settles down soon, because on the plus side all the talk seems to be generating quite a buzz around the potential of RSS.

I know I’m in it for the long-haul, I just hope businesses don’t get too put off by all the “chatter”.

Posted in RSS

Precision and Recall

Tim Bray posts his third in the series on Search. This one is on Precision and Recall. Here are a few good quotes:

“While precision and recall are very helpful in talking about how good search systems are, they are nightmarishly difficult to actually use, quantitatively. First of all, the notion of “relevance” is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and not, in the real world, a mechanical yes/no decision. Secondly, any information base big enough to make search engines interesting is going to be too big to actually compute recall ….”

“…while Microsoft is not, at the moment, a real force in the search community, that may change.”

The Motive of Uncle Orrin (no relation)

Based on the recent comments by Senator Orrin Hatch (no relation) and the ongoing reactions, I remembered a quote of his I posted back in February of 2001, which implied that Senator Hatch (no relation) was coming to the defense of the fledgling granddaddy of MP3 swapping … Napster.

Here’s the interesting quote:

“The Napster community represents a huge consumer demand for the kind of online music services Napster, rightly or wrongly, has offered and, to date, the major record labels have been unable to satisfy,” (Feb 2001)

However, I suppose no one should be surprised by the flip-flopping of a politician, the irony or fallout, but I suspect or hope Senator Orrin Hatch (no relation) has an ulterior motive.

Perhaps he’s exposing the “marketing problem“.

Info Aggregator: RSS-to-IMAP service

The folks over at Blogstreet have released an RSS-to-IMAP service called Info Aggregator, which is pretty slick. (link via Blogroots)

However, it’s unlikely that I’ll be moving from NewsGator even though using the IMAP protocol does provide some alternative client options as well as remote capabilities.

The fact is I’m always in Outlook and my experience using IMAP has never been stellar.

I’ll certainly give it a try though.

BTW, I just tried Blogstreet’s RSS Generator and it works very well!

In fact, I’m now subscribed to an RSS feed for NextDraft, which you can get here.

Posted in RSS

Nobody Uses Advanced Search

Tim Bray’s second installment on search

“Every search engine has an “advanced search“ screen, and nobody (quantitatively, less than 0.5% of users) ever goes there. This drove us nuts back at Open Text, because our engine was very structurally savvy and could do compound/boolean queries that look like what today weÂ’d call XPath. But nobody used it.”

I used it quite a bit. In fact, the advanced search pare was what I would bookmark on most search engines. However, indeed, I was certainly in the minority.

“You have a marketing problem”

Steven Vore pulls out a great quote from George Gilder’s book Telecosm, which I think seems so relevant to the music industry — namely the RIAA. (link via McGee’s Musings)

“When your product is stolen by thieves, you have a police problem. When it is stolen by millions of honest customers, you have a marketing problem.”

Oh how I hope the music industry is listening. Unfortunately I highly doubt they would see the relevance.

Office 2003 beta 2 “refresh”

PCWorld reports “Microsoft is on track to release its “refresh” of Office 2003 beta 2 to testers before the end of the month, a company spokesman said Friday.”

This is good news, because I’ve been having problems with Outlook 2003 freezing occasionally. Otherwise, the other apllications in the Office 2003 beta have been stable.