What’s Up?

Of course, BingTweets was the first real time mashup from a major player in search (and Microsoft has already announced its intentions to go further ), but we're just at the start of where real time search might go. … We've seen a fair amount of innovation in search interfaces lately (here's more on Pivot , for example), but real time data presents a significant challenge.

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(This piece was written for the BingTweets blog and is part of an ongoing exploration of search underwritten by Microsoft. See my series on the interplay of search and decisions here, here, and here. I wrote the piece below before today’s web-wide conversation about content farms, but I think it’s related. We need new frameworks for search, and real time points us toward one potential path.)

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More on Facebook Public Data and Google Implications

You know, I just realized I suggested that Facebook do exactly what it's doing. Read this post from back in June, deconstructing an article in Wired about the emerging Facebook v. Google battle. In it I say: I think it's a major strategic mistake to not offer [as much…

wooden_chess_board_12_02.jpg

You know, I just realized I suggested that Facebook do exactly what it’s doing. Read this post from back in June, deconstructing an article in Wired about the emerging Facebook v. Google battle. In it I say:

I think it’s a major strategic mistake to not offer [as much information on Facebook as possible] to Google (and anyone else that wants to crawl it.) In fact, I’d argue that the right thing to do is to make just about everything possible available to Google to crawl, then sit back and watch while Google struggles with whether or not to “organize it and make it universally available.” A regular damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario, that….

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Help Grok Pivot, A Novel Approach to Search Interface

Microsoft has been kind enough to give me a limited number of invitations for readers of Searchblog to grok Pivot, which I wrote about here last week.   In that post I promised to grok Pivot, then report back more here. Alas, Pivot is currently Windows only, and – alas…

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Microsoft has been kind enough to give me a limited number of invitations for readers of Searchblog to grok Pivot, which I wrote about here last week.  

In that post I promised to grok Pivot, then report back more here. Alas, Pivot is currently Windows only, and – alas – I am currently Mac only. I do have a couple of PCs in my house, but they are owned by my son and my wife, and it’s fair to say I’m not eager to to use them for experimental installs. My son in particular will kill me if I touch his machine (though I’m pretty sure he’s going to download Pivot before I ever do).

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Web 2: Help Me Interview Qi Lu

In the personality-driven world that is our industry, Qi Lu stands out for his relative lack of public profile. Widely respected as a technological leader while heading up search at Yahoo, Qi burst onto the industry scene when he defected to Microsoft last year and took the role of…

web 2 09.png_@user_60805.jpg In the personality-driven world that is our industry, Qi Lu stands out for his relative lack of public profile. Widely respected as a technological leader while heading up search at Yahoo, Qi burst onto the industry scene when he defected to Microsoft last year and took the role of President of the Online Service division. In short, Qi is the man in charge of Microsoft’s online strategy.

Our interview later this month will mark Qi’s debut on the Web 2 stage. From all accounts, Qi is a very different character from his boss Steve Ballmer (who was a highlight of Web 2 two years ago). I’m looking forward to our interaction. Clearly we have a lot to discuss – the shifting sands of alliances (Facebook, Yahoo, Myspace, etc.), the rise (and fall?) of Bing, the Yahoo search deal, the future of MSN with regard to content, the role of ad exchanges and platforms (the Aquantive deal), and much more.

But I digress. What do *you* want to hear from Qi this year?

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Why Are Conversations (With the Right Person) So Much Better Than Search?

Thanks to the BingTweets program, I've been asked to opine on search and decision engines. I'm kind of proud of my third and final post, which riffs on the first two and goes a bit, well, meta. I'd love to know what you guys think of it. I'll repost the…

hal.jpegThanks to the BingTweets program, I’ve been asked to opine on search and decision engines. I’m kind of proud of my third and final post, which riffs on the first two and goes a bit, well, meta. I’d love to know what you guys think of it. I’ll repost the first half here, and link back to the whole post on the original site that commissioned the work.  

Over the past two posts I’ve outlined my hopes and frustrations around search and decision making, using my desire to acquire a classic car as an example of both the opportunity and the limitations of web search as it stands today. As an astute commentator noted on my last post – “normally a 30 minute conversation is a whole lot better for any kind of complex question.”

Which leads me to my last post in this series. What is it about a conversation? Why can we, in 30 minutes or less, boil down what otherwise might be a multi-day quest into an answer that addresses nearly all our concerns? And what might that process teach us about what the Web lacks today and might bring us tomorrow?

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Watch the Aardvark

Just off the phone with the folks behind Aardvark, a (relatively) new service that will most likely be the talk of SXSW this week. I'll have a longer riff on the company shortly, but suffice to say, I find it fascinating. The service rides between your social network(s), search,…

Avark

Just off the phone with the folks behind Aardvark, a (relatively) new service that will most likely be the talk of SXSW this week. I’ll have a longer riff on the company shortly, but suffice to say, I find it fascinating. The service rides between your social network(s), search, and the web, cleverly leveraging each to provide a platform for asking and answering the kinds of questions for which traditional search usually fails: the kinds of questions you ask a friend (or a friend of a friend, the real sweet spot here).

Many things make this company worth watching, its backers, its model, and its approach. Particularly noteworthy to Searchblog readers: a large group of the founders are from Google.

More soon.

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The Conversation Is Shifting

Search, and Google in particular, was the first true language of the Web. But I've often called it a toddler's language – intentional, but not fully voiced. This past few weeks folks are noticing an important trend – the share of traffic referred to their sites is shifting. Facebook…

Search, and Google in particular, was the first true language of the Web. But I’ve often called it a toddler’s language – intentional, but not fully voiced. This past few weeks folks are noticing an important trend – the share of traffic referred to their sites is shifting. Facebook (and for some, like this site, Twitter) is becoming a primary source of traffic.

Why? Well, two big reasons. One, Facebook has metastasized to a size that rivals Google. And two, Facebook Connect has come into its own. People are sharing what they are reading, where they are going, and what they are doing, and the amplification of all that social intention is spreading across the web.

This is all part of the shift from static to real time search. Social is the fundamental element of that shift. What are YOU doing? What is on YOUR mind? Who do YOU want to SHARE it with?

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Snaptell

One more piece falling into place in my five year old example of how search is changing via mobile. Snaptell. Found via the IPG Lab in LA earlier this week, though the company has been around for a few years. TC covers it back in November here….

One more piece falling into place in my five year old example of how search is changing via mobile. Snaptell. Found via the IPG Lab in LA earlier this week, though the company has been around for a few years. TC covers it back in November here.

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A Biosphere of Minds

From the wonderful Kevin Kelly: While we have not yet made anything as complex as a human mind, we are trying to. The question is, what would be more complex than a human mind? What would we make if we could? What would such a thing do? In the…

From the wonderful Kevin Kelly:



While we have not yet made anything as complex as a human mind, we are trying to. The question is, what would be more complex than a human mind? What would we make if we could? What would such a thing do? In the story of technological evolution – or even biological evolution – what comes after minds?

The usual response to “what comes after a human mind” is better, faster, bigger minds. The same thing only more. That is probably true – we might be able to make or evolve bigger faster minds — but as pictured they are still minds.

A more recent response, one that I have been championing, is that what comes after minds may be a biosphere of minds, an ecological network of many minds and many types of minds – sort of like rainforest of minds – that would have its own meta-level behavior and consequences. Just as a biological rainforest processes nutrients, energy, and diversity, this system of intelligences would process problems, memories, anticipations, data and knowledge. This rainforest of minds would contain all the human minds connected to it, as well as various artificial intelligences, as well as billions of semi-smart things linked up into a sprawling ecosystem of intelligences. Vegetable intelligences, insect intelligences, primate intelligences and human intelligences and maybe superhuman intelligences, all interacting in one seething network. As in any ecosystem, different agents have different capabilities and different roles. Some would cooperate, some would compete. The whole complex would be a dynamic beast, constantly in flux.

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I Want Shoes That Look Like THIS – I Plan to Link to New Search Tools Again

I've decided to start linking to new stuff in search that gets sent to me again, but be forewarned – I won't be able to give it a full grokking. That said, a lot of new stuff has landed in my inbox, and it always bums me out to…

Shoe Search

I’ve decided to start linking to new stuff in search that gets sent to me again, but be forewarned – I won’t be able to give it a full grokking. That said, a lot of new stuff has landed in my inbox, and it always bums me out to have to say “sorry guys I don’t have time.” So from now on, if something catches my eye, I’m going to link to it and give a (very) brief overview. If anyone out there wants to send me stuff, go right ahead, and know that whatever you mail to me I may borrow from to describe whatever it is you’ve built.

First up is Modista. It comes from Berkeley (GO BEARS) so perhaps that’s what tipped it for me. From the email:

We are two computer science Ph.D. students at UC Berkeley, and we’d like to tell you about our project.

Modista applies visual search to online shopping, but it’s very different from Like.com. We use the technology to enable product discovery, so users can browse huge inventories quickly and effectively. It fundamentally changes the user experience: rather than navigating text-based menus and scrolling through lists of results, you can simply rely on your visual intuition.

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