free html hit counter Working on A Piece...The Shift from Static to Realtime Search - John Battelle's Search Blog

Working on A Piece…The Shift from Static to Realtime Search

By - November 30, 2008

Just a placeholder for a piece I’m trying to bang out tonight, ideally. I’ve been ranting about it to various folks all weekend long, has to do with the inflection point of being able to ask this question:

What are people saying about (my query) right now?

Yep, it has to do with Twitter, but also a lot more than that. Stay tuned…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

8 thoughts on “Working on A Piece…The Shift from Static to Realtime Search

  1. nmw says:

    Can’t wait — what could be more real-time than writing down what I think right now?

    How about this: typing in “” to find out what is — right now —

  2. JG says:


    This is an old idea. It’s called (document) Routing and Filtering. You set up a standing query, topic, or information need statement, and then as a stream of information arrives, those pieces of information that are relevant to your query are routed to you. By sorting that routed information by information stream arrival time, you can see exactly what is being said now about your query. Here is an overview of the area from 2002, which is actually the last year this particular track/task was run by NIST:

    Someone can correct me, but I believe that the routing and filtering track hearkens back to the mid-90s, at the very least.. and the idea is probably even older than that.

    Interesting that the idea is starting to make a comeback.

  3. nmw says:

    What?!? You mean something like SDI? No, this can’t be serious…. I thought John meant the unfiltered “live” stream of latest information — I guess maybe we should wait until John spills the beans!

    Maybe we should just start taking bets when the promised post will arrive! What are the odds for sometime before 2009?

    ;P nmw

  4. JG says:

    nmw: What’s SDI?

  5. nmw says:

    “Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) is a new and rapidly developing field” (1963)

  6. Haber says:

    Haha this is interesting.


    “Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) is a new and rapidly developing field. The concept was originally set forth by Hans Peter Luhn in 1958. As described by Luhn, one part of a larger idea, the business intelligence system, was Selective Dissemination of Information. SDI involves the use of the computer to select from a flow of new documents, those of interest to each of a number of users. This process may be thought of as the inverse of information retrieval. In information retrieval, a user precipitates a search of a file of documents. In SDI a document precipitates the search of a standing file of user interests. SDI has been called “current awareness” since the attempt is to keep the user aware of current developments. This function has been traditional with those few really excellent librarians and executive staff assistants. SDI is a mechanization of this function.”

  7. JG says:

    Of course. Silly me. I’m familiar with other Luhn work (e.g. KWIC). I should have known or remembered SDI.

    So yes, the idea goes back well beyond the mid-90s “routing and filtering” IR tasks 🙂