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September 18 2007

Powerset Takes On Google

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There is another new search engine in the marketplace.  Powerset believes they are ready to take on Google, with their natural-language search engine.  You are currently able to visit their site and provide your email address for more information and account set-up information.  Powerset’s algorithms are programmed to understand search requests submitted in plain English, differently from the keyword search used by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and all other keyword search engines. 

Natural-language search has been attempted before.  In the 1990s, Ask Jeeves was founded on the premise that Internet search requests should be presented as simple questions.  Users seemingly weren’t satisfied with search results, because they had too many irrelevant answers.  After nearly failing, the company embraced the keyword approach to search and abandoned its natural-language algorithms.  It is now known simply as Ask.com.

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September 4 2007

Social Media: Social Networks 101

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Social Media has taken off over the past year and a half. MySpace, FaceBook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Second Life, Digg, Flickr, TripAdvisor etc. just to name a few, all bring users together to share media, insight, opinions and perspectives. Each network shares text, images, video, and audio. As social networks continue to evolve, niche groups like High School sports, Mothers and Doctors are now participating in vertical networks.

Since most of my experience is in paid search and contextual advertising, Social Media is still a fairly new thing to me. As I continue to learn about the basics of this new media; I am sure many of you are in the same boat as I am. So here’s a little background on Social Networks. Basically, it’s a website which brings users together to share anything those users have in common. As per my examples above; high school athletes can demonstrate their skills on Takkle.com, doctors can share diagnosis and cases on Sermo.com, and mothers can share their experiences on Maya’sMom.com.

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August 17 2007

Personalized Search Has Users Concerned

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The idea of personalization isn’t new; it’s a concept that’s been around for years and has been attracting much attention recently. Personalized search is a promising way to improve the accuracy of web search; however, it often raises serious user concerns.

One of the major deficiencies is that the search is temporal. As such, critics point out that, just because people search for something doesn’t mean that they are genuinely interested in it. That said, the question is: How long will it take before the search engine stops displaying results based on something we user’s were only temporarily interested in. With no clear answer, this is one of the first obstacles that must be overcome for this search to work.

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