Findory Getting More Personal

Greg has the details on the ongoing improvements underway at Findory. From his post: A couple weeks ago, Findory launched search history for web, news, and blog search. As I've said before, search history is not personalized search. This week, Findory took our first step toward true personalized web search….

findory.jpgGreg has the details on the ongoing improvements underway at Findory. From his post:

A couple weeks ago, Findory launched search history for web, news, and blog search. As I’ve said before, search history is not personalized search.

This week, Findory took our first step toward true personalized web search. In subtle and small ways, we are starting to modify web search results based on your history at Findory.com.

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Grokking Wondir

Spent some time on the phone today grokking Wondir with its founder, Matthew Koll. Matt has a long and distinguished history in search, starting back in the non-web days (he created a text search engine in the early 90s which he sold to AOL in 1998) and running up into…

wondirSpent some time on the phone today grokking Wondir with its founder, Matthew Koll. Matt has a long and distinguished history in search, starting back in the non-web days (he created a text search engine in the early 90s which he sold to AOL in 1998) and running up into the present.

Wondir is, at its core, a question answering service. Wondir itself is more than two years old, but Koll only recently took the “beta” off the service and turned it into a for-profit enterprise. While there are loads of question answering services on the web, this one is different in some important ways. First off, it feels like a search engine. That’s intentional, Koll told me, as he feels the process of finding answers through chat rooms and usenet like forums is cumbersome and unintuitive. Secondly, Wondir aggregates questions and answers through the architecture of participation, essentially getting its questioners to become answerers, and vice versa. This is non trivial – getting people to answer questions is not as easy as it might seem. But Koll has thought through all of this, and I like where this service is going.

wondir2You don’t have to register to ask a question, but it pays if you do, because then your answer can be sent to you (and you can also tell Wondir areas of your own expertise, and it will notify you of questions that come in that you can answer if you wish to). When you do ask a question (in plain english), Wondir does a number of clever things. First, it parses your question’s text and categorizes it in any number of potential topic clusters. It then alerts registered users who have raised their hands as willing to answer questions in those topics, either through email, RSS (soon), or IM. It also posts the question right there on the service, in a scrolling ticker below the search box. Wondir has any number of categories in a pull down menu, and when you select a category, the questions scrolling across the bottom change as well (the questions in the “mature content” area are a hoot).

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Google Takes Another Step Toward Becoming Development Environment

Just got this note from Google PR on the beta introduction of the Google Deskbar API. Today, Google announced the availability of the Google Deskbar API (application programming interface). This technology makes it possible for software developers to build their own features, or plug-ins, for the popular Google Deskbar. For…

Just got this note from Google PR on the beta introduction of the Google Deskbar API.

Today, Google announced the availability of the Google Deskbar API
(application programming interface). This technology makes it possible for
software developers to build their own features, or plug-ins, for the
popular Google Deskbar.

For instance, a developer could use Google Deskbar APIs to create a movie
search command that enables users to search their favorite movie site by
entering a movie name into the Deskbar search field and typing a special
command such as “Ctrl’M.” Other examples include:

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Move Over Big G…Here Comes….

…Empower. This is getting old, but I did predict it…. First line of the release: "Move over, Google … a new player is giving you a run for your high-speed money." The claims continue: "The service, built on a platform that produces results almost four times faster than Yahoo.com, 11…

Empower. This is getting old, but I did predict it….

First line of the release:

“Move over, Google … a new player is giving you a run for your high-speed money.”

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The Law Embraces the Internet Archive

As Cory points out over on BoingBoing, it was only a matter of time. This does point to the beginning of the web as digital memory for our ongoing culture….

As Cory points out over on BoingBoing, it was only a matter of time. This does point to the beginning of the web as digital memory for our ongoing culture.

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Orkut Media?

I got an odd email from orkut yesterday, as did many others. It reads: Dear John, Today all of us here at orkut are pleased to announce the launch of orkut media, a weekly collection of writings and photos by our very own orkut members. When you land at http://media.orkut.com,…

orkutI got an odd email from orkut yesterday, as did many others. It reads:

Dear John,

Today all of us here at orkut are pleased to announce the
launch of orkut media, a weekly collection of writings and
photos by our very own orkut members.

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Google Guidance? Some Notes on the 10-Q

In its unusual S-1, Google famously said it would not offer traditional guidance to Wall Street. But this week the company offered a bit of it anyway, stating in their quarterly filing (filed on Monday) that revenue growth will not continue on the pace it has. Trends in Our Business…

GOOG10qIn its unusual S-1, Google famously said it would not offer traditional guidance to Wall Street. But this week the company offered a bit of it anyway, stating in their quarterly filing (filed on Monday) that revenue growth will not continue on the pace it has.

Trends in Our Business
Our business has grown rapidly since inception, and we expect that our business will continue to grow. This growth has been characterized by substantially increased revenues. However, although our revenue growth rate increased in the third quarter of 2004 compared to the second quarter of 2004, our revenue growth rate has generally declined, and we expect it will continue to do so as a result of increasing competition and the inevitable decline in growth rates as our revenues increase to higher levels. Consequently, we believe that our revenue growth rate from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2004 may not be sustainable into the fourth quarter of this year and in future periods. In addition, the main focus of our advertising programs is to provide relevant and useful advertising to our users, reflecting our commitment to constantly improve their overall web experience, and therefore steps we take to improve the relevance of the ads displayed on our web sites, such as removing ads that generate low click-through rates, could negatively affect our near-term advertising revenues.

Those revenue policies changes are worth watching.

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MSFT: Thank You, May I Have Another…

Microsoft and Overture have extended their contract, giving those who are waiting for Microsoft to roll out its Adwords competitor a clearer sense of when that service might roll out. The new contract is extended to June, 2006 – a one year extension….

Microsoft and Overture have extended their contract, giving those who are waiting for Microsoft to roll out its Adwords competitor a clearer sense of when that service might roll out. The new contract is extended to June, 2006 – a one year extension.

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Tivo, Don’t Forsake Us…

Two items on Tivo, one a bit disturbing, the other merely entertaining zeitgiesty stuff. First, as many have noted all over the web, Tivo is adopting a new fast forward ad unit that shows banners as you skip commercials. I think this is pretty bad idea, honestly, but let's see…

tivohotTwo items on Tivo, one a bit disturbing, the other merely entertaining zeitgiesty stuff. First, as many have noted all over the web, Tivo is adopting a new fast forward ad unit that shows banners as you skip commercials. I think this is pretty bad idea, honestly, but let’s see how it feels when implemented. And second, Gary points me to the Tivo Hot 100, the top shows as recorded by Tivo users via the “Season Pass” feature. Not many surprises here, but it’s still interesting to look at.

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