Search

  • Full library discoverySeptember 15, 2013 – The scope of library discovery services continues to evolve. We might characterise the situation we are in now as full collection discovery. The model is of a cloud-based, central index, where the goal has been unified results across collection types delivered in a single search box.The full collection includes material...read full entry...
  • Discovery vs discoverability ... January 02, 2013 – I have been interested in the different dynamics of the inside-out and outside-in library for a while (see here for example). One especially interesting characteristic is the quite different approach to discovery in each case, even though this distinction has not yet crystallized in clear service categories. I was struck...read full entry...
  • Making things of interest Discoverable, Referencable, Relatable, ...June 10, 2012 – I came across the Ernest Hemingway phrase 'gradually, then suddenly' in an online discussion recently. Here is the context on the useful Goodreads quotable quote page. It seemed a statement appropriate to our times, and especially apt to a recent phenomenon: the growing importance of large-scale knowledge bases which collect...read full entry...
  • There is more to discovery than you think ...February 05, 2011 – Colleagues at the University of Minnesota have produced another must-read report on the discoverability of library resources [Splash page, PDF]. Importantly, it provides a framework within which to think about evolving issues and in this way makes a real contribution to our understanding of the environment and ability to plan...read full entry...
  • Influencing how you are seen in results ...October 10, 2010 – Two websites I regularly look at are the The Guardian and Times Higher Education. In my lazy way I will often just pop the names into Google when looking for them. I have been interested in how they are characterised in Google results, based on what they put in the...read full entry...
  • Sorting out demand again ....September 26, 2010 – Ask.com announced the demise of Bloglines a while ago. From October 1st the service will no longer exist. The rationale was twofold: first they wanted to focus on their core business, and second they described how the environment had changed .... A little perspective: when we originally acquired Bloglines in...read full entry...
  • Sorting out demand ... Top tech trend 3August 08, 2010 – [This is 3. Here is 1 and 2.] I was pleased to participate in LITA’s Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In...read full entry...
  • On the discrimination of curators and curations ....July 25, 2010 – As existing practices evolve and new ones emerge it often takes time for the way in which we talk about them to settle down. There may be some interim terminological confusion. This has happened in our world with 'archive' for example. We can also see this happen with curation/curation/curator. In...read full entry...
  • In the Twitter flow ..July 17, 2010 – One of the recurrent themes of this blog has been the work done by libraries to put more of their services in the flow of their users' working, learning and research behaviors. In this context, I was pleased to see the work by my colleagues on implementing Worldcat searches in...read full entry...
  • Discovery layers - Top Tech Trends 2July 04, 2010 – [No 2 of 3. No 1 here.] I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking...read full entry...
  • Beyond records .. genresJune 26, 2010 – We tend to have a very record-based view of bibliographic systems. Searches in a resource result in lists of record-based displays for items. All fields may not be indexed. This means that the data works less hard than it might, given the variety of ways in which it could be...read full entry...
  • Indirect discoveryJune 13, 2010 – I have found that the phrase Discovery happens elsewhere has quite a bit of resonance in discussion. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in a variety of places. Most clearly, this happens through network-level services like Google or Twitter, but also happens in personal services (my RSS...read full entry...
  • GooglingMay 30, 2010 – Google revamped its home page a while ago, highlighting a little more some additional features such as its wonder wheel, related searches, social (which searches among your 'friends' on various sites), nearby, and so on. I find the ability to limit by the date of pages in results quite useful...read full entry...
  • The context webMarch 07, 2010 – In preparing some recent presentations I have been talking about three primary ways of experiencing the web which emerged successively and continue to work together. Here I will call them the site-web, the search-web, and the context-web (alternatives might be site-centric, network-centric, and user-centric). Site-web. Our early experience of the...read full entry...
  • Outside-in and inside-outJanuary 11, 2010 – An 'industry' pattern appears to have emerged which builds a discovery layer over resources available from the library (or from a group library service, at the level of a state or a consortium for example). Three characteristics come to mind. First, there is an attempt to provide an integrated discovery...read full entry...
  • Your new home pageDecember 11, 2009 – Tony Hirst has made the interesting observation that an organization's real home page is the first page of its Google results. One of the several announcements made by Google last week was one about the integration of real-time feeds in its search results. First, we're introducing new features that bring...read full entry...
  • Choice is hard work: an anecdatumDecember 06, 2009 – We got an iMac for family use in the Summer. I never liked the keyboard and the mouse keeps sticking as crumbs and so on get lodged in it. Myself and my son headed off to Micro Center the other evening to explore replacements. They had sold out of the...read full entry...
  • Discoverability .. a report that's worth a lookOctober 07, 2009 – We are awash in assisted thinking, as I may have remarked. One document that is worth a look is Discoverability produced earlier this year by a team at the University of Minnesota. In October 2008, the Web Services Steering Committee at the University of Minnesota Libraries created the Discoverability exploratory...read full entry...
  • SerendipityAugust 27, 2009 – Digital environments provide many more opportunities for serendipity than print ones. Sure, there may be happy discoveries on the shelf or in a random group of items bound together. But the chances of happy discovery are multiplied in the web environment. Now, when I hear an argument based on serendipity,...read full entry...
  • Working around worksAugust 02, 2009 – There is a significant - if little read - literature of cataloging theory. A recurrent theme is the balance between gathering like items, and discriminating between them. Managing similarity and difference in this way, and making sensible user interface choices, is not straightforward. The FRBR model represents a recent approach...read full entry...
  • Related searchesJuly 27, 2009 – Google has had some optional features for a while, although I have not seen much discussion of them. I don't know if this is because they are not being much used, or there is some other reason. Anyway, I was interested to try the related search earlier on my own...read full entry...
  • SearchingMay 31, 2009 – I got a note from Debbie Campbell, Director, Collaborative Services, at the National Library of Australia the other week about their new prototype discovery service. The service is available at http://sbdsproto.nla.gov.au/ and provides integrated access to over 42 million metadata and text resources from a range of the National Library's...read full entry...
  • Metasearch reduxApril 28, 2009 – Here is something I said about metasearch in these pages some time ago .... The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business boundaries do not very well map user preferences or behaviors. The approach has been to try to move...read full entry...
  • The Google research offerMarch 18, 2009 – I was interested to see this note on the home page of Google Book Search: It links through to a page of 'research tips' based on the use of Google Book Search. Can't remember where you found that quote? Did someone grab the last copy of the book you needed...read full entry...
  • One big index: Google Scholar in GoogleMarch 01, 2009 – Google Books results in searches on big Google are common (in my experience, anyway). I hadn't noticed before, however, what appear to be Google Scholar results mixed in. I am sure they have been there, I just haven't seen them. I still continue to be surprised when people talk about...read full entry...
  • More on repositories and search enginesFebruary 11, 2009 – I referenced a note by Andy Powell on institutional repositories and Google in an earlier post. Herbert Van de Sompel left a comment pointing to a short document he has prepared addressing some of Andy's concerns based on recent work with OAI-ORE. Here are a couple of the opening paragraphs...read full entry...
  • SEI - search engine interoperabilityFebruary 10, 2009 – I have used the phrase search engine interoperability in these pages a couple of times. This is a play on search engine optimization, which some do not like (although I think we should not avoid using a standard industry term). We value interoperability in libraries, and I think that a...read full entry...
  • Card Catalogue OnlineDecember 18, 2008 – I was interested to come across the University of Bristol's 'Card catalogue online', a resource based on scanned images of catalogue cards. The digitisation project involved scanning 300,000 cards covering pre-1978 material held in the Arts and Social Sciences Library and all other branch libraries (except the Medical Library).As well...read full entry...
  • SEODecember 14, 2008 – I have mentioned SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a few times as an increasingly important area of interest for librarians. However, as I have suggested, I come across resistance on the grounds that this is some sort of base or mendacious activity. We are very interested in interoperability, however, and for...read full entry...
  • Penguin datingDecember 06, 2008 – I have just come across PenguinDating "where book lovers meet", a partnership between Penguin and match.com. You can go on singles nights in libraries and there's even a hybrid speed-dating book club in a pub. Here at Penguin Books we’ve teamed up with match.com to create penguindating.co.uk. You can be...read full entry...
  • Google Book Search channellingOctober 30, 2008 – Regular readers will know that I follow the Hitwise blog. I was interested to see their note on Google Book Search the other day, prompted by the settlement which discussed which sites benefited from downstream traffic from that site. In other words, where do people go when they leave Google...read full entry...
  • Are you Asking ...October 24, 2008 – After a recent makeover, search engine Ask has a nice clean interface and some nice features. One that is foregrounded is the 'related searches' feature. I could not immediately see how they were generating this list, but it was often helpful. I was interested in what a search for Lorcan...read full entry...
  • A local viewOctober 17, 2008 – I have had a chance to see more of the Science@Cambridge 'portal' and to hear from Cambridge colleagues how they plan to evolve it. As I noted, I particularly like the way in which access to the literature is surrounded by feed-based contextual services. I wondered about a view of...read full entry...
  • Optimal disclosure of published materialsOctober 01, 2008 – Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner released an interesting report a little while ago on How scholars navigate to scholarly content. This is a followup to a similar study carried out in 2005 [pdf], and one of the interesting strands of this report is an account of changes in that period....read full entry...
  • Worldcat on iPhoneSeptember 19, 2008 – Several colleagues have commented on the view of Worldcat optimized for the iPhone/iTouch created by our colleague Bruce Washburn. It is a nice use of the Worldcat Search API and it pulls data from Worldcat and Worldcat Identities. As I don't have a Safari browser or an iPhone to hand,...read full entry...
  • Chrome linksSeptember 09, 2008 – The new Google Chrome browser has captured major attention since it was launched a few days ago. Here, without extensive comment, are links to some interesting posts about Chrome. Nicholas Carr considers strategic motivations .... To Google, the browser has become a weak link in the cloud system - the...read full entry...
  • Really one boxSeptember 07, 2008 – Some time ago I was going to look at something on the web with my son. He looked on incredulously as I began to type in a (medium-sized) URL. "What are you doing?" he asked "why don't you use the other box?". I hadn't realized until then that his preferred...read full entry...
  • Google was hereAugust 02, 2008 – We live a hundred yards or so off High Street, the historic North-South thoroughfare in Columbus. In fact, the picture below is taken from High Street and the exit is the entrance to our street. I just noticed this on Google Maps; I don't know how long they have had...read full entry...
  • SEO is part of our businessJuly 27, 2008 – John Wilkin has another nice post, talking about making resources available in such a way as to make them more likely to be crawled by Google and hence more generally discoverable and, importantly, useful and used. We often go wrong, however, when we try to share our love of complexity...read full entry...
  • Book covers and PiclensJuly 03, 2008 – The recent discussion of book covers as interface components on the ngc4lib list provides an opportunity to mention PicLens, a utility that is has been creating a lot of interest recently. According to its creators, CoolIris, PicLens provides an "immersive full-screen experience for viewing photos and videos". It is available...read full entry...
  • Encore at GlasgowJune 29, 2008 – I was interested to come across the Encore implementation at the University of Glasgow. This is still in development, but here is a description of current features ... Encore is a new way of searching the Library catalogue offering: single search box relevance ranked results location & availability details links...read full entry...
  • Institutional discovery systemsJune 06, 2008 – The University of Wisconsin - Madison has made available its report about institutional discovery services [pdf]. Compare Google searching to the many steps and decisions one must make in order to locate a scholarly article on the UW-Madison Libraries Web site and you get a sense of the problem. [Resource...read full entry...
  • GooglingJune 01, 2008 – Often when people talk about Google it is as if it is something stable. But things are always moving on. There is an interesting, if somewhat high-level, overview of search quality by Udi Manber on the Google Blog which talks some of the ways in which Google decides how to...read full entry...
  • Boxed in: a set of search boxesMay 10, 2008 – Libraries have major challenges in developing their websites. Think just of the information resources they provide access to. There are locally managed resources: a catalog, a repository or two, informational pages, and so on. And there are many remote resources: licensed databases, links to web pages, and so on. And...read full entry...
  • Computational advertisingMay 08, 2008 – I was very interested to read this brief piece about the 'new discipline' of 'computational advertising': Web advertising is the primary driving force behind many Web activities, including Internet search as well as publishing of online content by third-party providers. A new discipline - Computational Advertising - has recently emerged,...read full entry...
  • SSEO for librariesMarch 24, 2008 – Well, another very fine issue of the Code4Lib Journal has appeared. Jody L DeRidder has an interesting piece describing how they used browsable link pages (by subject, name, ..) and sitemaps to improve the visibility of a particular resource to search engines. The discussion gets into some of the issues...read full entry...
  • Book search and glanceabilityMarch 04, 2008 – Somebody I was talking to recently mentioned that they liked they way Microsoft implemented book search. In particular they mentioned the visual presentation of where in a book matched search terms occurred. I had a look. Here is a screen capture of the first result in a search done this...read full entry...
  • To 'extract, transform and load' or to federateJanuary 10, 2008 – One of the major questions for library systems is the role of metasearch or federation. I have written about this here (Metasearch: a boundary case) and here (Metasearch, Google and the rest). The issue is that libraries have to manage a range of database resources whose legacy technical and business...read full entry...
  • Google Book Search and document understandingJanuary 03, 2008 – Google Book Search: Document Understanding on a Massive Scale [PDF] is a brief treatment of issues faced by Google as they grow their corpus of digitized books and work to make it useful in various ways. Luc Vincent of Google discusses OCR (issues of many languages occurring unpredictably in variously...read full entry...
  • Search web serviceNovember 09, 2007 – Under the auspices of OASIS appears a discussion document about the 'search web service'. The Search web service is a means of opening a database to external enquiry in a standardized manner that facilitates discovery of query and response possibilities and makes it possible for heterogeneous databases to be queried...read full entry...
  • Discovery happens elsewhere, againSeptember 18, 2007 – The decision by the New York Times to open up for general reading the formerly for-fee TimeSelect parts of its website is being widely discussed. The rationale given is interesting. Since we launched TimesSelect in 2005, the online landscape has altered significantly. Readers increasingly find news through search, as well...read full entry...
  • Discovery happens elsewhereSeptember 16, 2007 – I have been using the phrase 'discovery happens elsewhere' in recent presentations. I think it captures quite nicely an increasingly important part of how we think about our services. No single website is the sole focus of a user's attention. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in...read full entry...
  • Give us a subject heading ...September 02, 2007 – I was interested to read the following in Susan Gibbons' The academic library and the Net Gen student. As gaming becomes a more mainstream pastime and an important element in popular culture, academic libraries should begin to develop collections of books and journals about gaming. To find some recent monographs,...read full entry...
  • Publish or perishAugust 28, 2007 – Publish or perish is interesting looking: Publish or Perish is a software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations. It uses Google Scholar to obtain the raw citations, then analyzes these and presents the following statistics: .... [Publish or perish] Among the statistics it generates are: Total number of papers;...read full entry...
  • Serendipity in stacks, racks and online sytemsAugust 16, 2007 – We have just spent a while on the San Juan Islands (off the North West coast of Washington State and East of Vancouver Island for unfamiliar readers - Wikipedia). I bought a couple of books in the congenial Pyramidion Used and Rare Books in Eastsound on Orcas Island. I was...read full entry...
  • Slow downJuly 19, 2007 – Several things have meant that blogging has been a bit slow the last week or two. However, I notice from the stats that the daily average number of visits so far this month has been the highest since I started. Clearly, for maximum traffic I should stop posting altogether ;-)...read full entry...
  • Call me Ishmael.1June 28, 2007 – Thom has a post talking about his ranking in Google searches for 'thom' and 'hickey'. And, given the importance of the web to the way that people search for information he suggests that it is probably not helpful to organizations, and their employees, to be poorly findable on the web....read full entry...
  • QsOTD: Facebook and the social graphJune 24, 2007 – Facebook opened itself up to non-college students a while ago. And weeks ago it opened itself up to other applications through the Facebook platform. It describes itself as a 'social utility'. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, talks about the 'social graph', a vast social interconnectedness which propagates news and views. Indeed,...read full entry...
  • Developing a 'next generation' systemwide catalogJune 12, 2007 – Judith Pearce from the National Library of Australia left an interesting comment about the integration, or not, of full-text book indexes and library catalogs. Here is an excerpt:Here at the National Library of Australia, just as we are starting to address the challenge of getting nice fully FRBRised, relevance-ranked and...read full entry...
  • Systemic change: CIC and GoogleJune 06, 2007 – Today Google and CIC announce an agreement to digitize ten million volumes across the CIC libraries. Google has been adding new partners since the first announcement was made about the Google 5. Some folks have wondered what rationale has governed selection of partner opportunities. We do not know, but they...read full entry...
  • In the flow - Washington and WikipediaMay 24, 2007 – In recent presentations I have been referring to the University of Washington's initiative to systematically put links to its digital collections in relevant Wikipedia entries. I use it as an example of putting library resources 'in the flow' of their users's behavior. If Wikipedia is where many folks end up...read full entry...
  • Universal search and the rich texture of suggestionMay 18, 2007 –  There has been some discussion - less than I expected - about Google's steps to develop a unified search across its services (blogsearch, booksearch, YouTube, etc) so that blogs, video, books, maps, and so on are returned in results on the main Google site. This latest refinement sounds simple,...read full entry...
  • Searching for answersMay 03, 2007 – While checking up on referrals from the logs - as discussed a few moments ago - I had a look at Yahoo! also which I had not done for a while. I was interested to see results from Yahoo! answers included in search results. Here is the first result from...read full entry...
  • A small note on the catalogApril 30, 2007 – I visited the University of Virginia last week where I spoke about the future of the catalog. This was more topical than I had realized when I agreed the subject with my hosts! When I arrived, the first thing that people wanted to talk about was Roy Tennant! The second...read full entry...
  • Google authorsApril 28, 2007 – I just came across Google Authors, a series of videos of guest speakers at Google. An interesting variety and different formats (lecture, interview, ...). Many are interviewed by Eric Schmidt. Some household names (if you live in a BoBo household, to use the term coined by David Brooks, one of...read full entry...
  • Worldcat.org and articlesApril 23, 2007 – A couple of folks asked me about article level metadata in worldcat.org as in, for example: Manuel CastellsSeamus DeaneJames Gleick Details are available on the OCLC website: OCLC has added article-level citation records to WorldCat.org search results from four FirstSearch base package databases: GPO, ArticleFirst, Medline and ERIC. [Article-level citation...read full entry...
  • Discovery at the network levelApril 10, 2007 – Evan Schnittman of OUP responds to an article in the FT (now behind a subscription wall) on Google digitization:The reality is we are not running scared from Google - frankly it's quite the opposite. Through initiatives such as Google Book Search, Amazon's Search Inside the Book, Microsoft's Windows Live Book...read full entry...
  • Persuasive suggestionsApril 04, 2007 –  I was interested to see these suggestions pop up at the bottom of the page in some Google searches. Maybe they have been there for a long time and I did not notice ;-) This is a search on 'persuasion'....read full entry...
  • Finding TimeMarch 20, 2007 – A funny video about a library website? Yes, it is possible .... One of the highlights of the CIC 2007 Library Conference was in the presentation from Ellysa Cahoy of Penn State (you can see Ellysa's presentation on Slideshare). Her topic was how the library website should help the user...read full entry...
  • The British Library websiteFebruary 23, 2007 – I notice that the British Library has redesigned its website. It now highlights a search for BL resources: allowing a single search across the website, catalogues, journal articles for delivery, and digitized collections. This is an interesting high profile example of the desire to offer readers more unified access across...read full entry...
  • Groups: Deff reportFebruary 05, 2007 – The role of the 'group' level in library matters is an interesting one, and one which - it seems to me - is becoming more important in the network environment. The cost and complexity of providing some services locally is pushing attention to the network level, where there may be...read full entry...
  • ScapesFebruary 01, 2007 – Google announced a while ago that they were 'deprecating' their SOAP Search API in favour of an Ajax based search syndication strategy [as reported by Brady Forrest]. One motivation for this, it was speculated, was that the SOAP API-based syndication of search did not support their ad-based revenue model. Why?...read full entry...
  • Standards for D2DJanuary 15, 2007 – JISC, ALPSP, Crossref, and The Publishers' Association sponsored a conference - Discovery and access - standards and the information chain - in December. The proceedings are now available, as is a summary. This is really an excellent set of presentations from knowledgeable presenters, and they all repay reading. I was...read full entry...
  • Nelsonville catalogJanuary 13, 2007 – Mentioning Koha the other day reminded me that I have used the Nelsonville Public Library catalog in a couple of recent presentations. It serves Athens County in South East Ohio and uses Koha. See the entry for this title: The art of Richard Diebenkorn. They provide access to Amazon search...read full entry...
  • QOTD: getting in the flowJanuary 07, 2007 – Niall Kennedy argues that 'search is not a zero switch cost'. Even if a strong competitor emerges for Google they will have to do quite a bit of work given the steps Google has taken to embed itself in various user flows:Google is spending billions to integrate its search products...read full entry...
  • The power of the Google flowDecember 29, 2006 – I mentioned the other day that of the three blog search engines - Technorati, Google Blogsearch, Ask/Bloglines - that I tended to use, Technorati had slipped to number three because of its slower response times. When it is part of the flow of what you are doing, you do not...read full entry...
  • Comparing single search environmentsDecember 20, 2006 – Over time I reckon that 'single search' will replace 'metasearch' for general article access. This is not to say that there will not be target markets where niche databases do not continue to exist, rather that alternative solutions for general article searching seem inevitable given the difficulties of metasearch. Now,...read full entry...
  • Google is the environmentDecember 20, 2006 – The Guardian summarizes:Rich Skrenta, co-founder and CEO of Topix.net, is fed up with hearing low numbers for Google's market share when he reckons the real number is around 70%. Let's start by agreeing that Rich is measuring something different: search referrals, rather than searches. However, referrals is actually a more...read full entry...
  • Finding fictionDecember 16, 2006 – FictionFinder has been available for quite a while. Check out the new version. This is a prototype which has several motivations. It takes fiction records from Worldcat and shows how the data can be made 'work harder' to create useful and interesting experience. It offers a 'frbresque' view of the...read full entry...
  • A couple of reportsNovember 28, 2006 – A couple of relevant reports have just come over the horizon .....First, from the Research Information Network in the UK comes an overview [pdf] of researcher resource discovery behaviors and preferences:Search and discovery are critical and integral parts of the research process. As this study shows, researchers devote considerable amounts...read full entry...
  • Speedy ...November 10, 2006 – I find that I use Technorati less these days than Google Blogsearch and Bloglines/Ask for looking at blog stuff. This is not to do with poorer results. It is to do with speed: Technorati makes you wait for a moment. And I don't like waiting. I was interested to see...read full entry...
  • Disclosure and repositories againNovember 04, 2006 – In the context of talking about disclosure I had it on my list to note Google's Sitemap some time, and in particular the use of OAI-PMH in this context.The Sitemap Protocol allows you to inform search engines about URLs on your websites that are available for crawling. In its simplest...read full entry...
  • Repositories and disclosureNovember 02, 2006 – Andy Powell has posted a long and interesting post prompted by the OpenDOAR Custom Search initiative I mention below. In the course of his discussion he makes some points about repositories and discovery that intersect with recent discussion in these pages. Overall, what I conclude from this (once again) is...read full entry...
  • Search protocolsOctober 31, 2006 – Ralph Levan has a succinct article in the current Information Technology and Libraries explicating the current profusion of search protocols by placing them on a continuum of complexity. Here is the e-print. LeVan, Ralph. 2006. "OpenSearch and SRU: A Continuum of Searching." Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), 25,3 (September): 151-153....read full entry...
  • Keywords and informationOctober 29, 2006 – Steven Johnson - who has featured in these pages before - has an interesting piece in the New York Times Book Review. He plays on the senses of 'Key words'. He notes the well-known work by Raymond Williams called Keywords (first edition in 1976, revised and expanded in 1983) as...read full entry...
  • Custom searchOctober 26, 2006 – It is nteresting to see the quick take-up of the custom search engine from Google. Here are some examples that have come over my horizon in the last few days:OpenDOAR is a directory of academic open access repositories based at the University of Nottingham. They have implemented a search across...read full entry...
  • Traffic flowOctober 23, 2006 – The Hitwise blog is always interesting. They refer to the Udell/Bezos interview I cited a little while ago. First a paraphrased quote from Jeff Bezos: When library patrons use Amazon's catalogue to research what's in the library, they're creating flow through Amazon's site, and Bezos says he's all for that....read full entry...
  • A google cocoon, or Google as GaeilgeOctober 22, 2006 – OK, so I have just done an entry quoting eFoundations, the blog by Pete Johnson and Andy Powell. The other day, I did a Google search for eFoundations and was interested to see that my earlier mention of it came top of the results, with eFoundations itself coming in second....read full entry...
  • Getting to the stuffOctober 18, 2006 – This picture is from a talk by Chris Beckett about how publishers should optimize their web presences for use in changing network environments (some more about this below). I used it in a presentation at the Montana State University Libraries Symposium, where colleagues from academic librarians in Montana discussed challenges...read full entry...
  • Distributing the catalog discovery experienceOctober 13, 2006 – In a recent article on the catalog, I discussed how 'discovery' of library materials was increasingly going to be 'disembedded' from the local library catalog, and 're-embedded' in a variety of other contexts. Those other contexts might need to link back to the library system, which is becomes more of...read full entry...
  • Specializing GoogleOctober 04, 2006 – In association with the Frankfurt Book Fair literacy campaign (Litcam) and Unesco's Institute for Lifelong Learning, Google has launched the Google Literacy Project. It collocates access to a range of Google resources: book search, scholar, blogger, blogsearch, groups, maps, video. Interestingly, the main Google search engine is not included. It...read full entry...
  • A note on Google Book Search and librariesSeptember 17, 2006 – Recent developments with Google Book Search and links to library catalogs have been noted in several places, and I thought I would just note some stuff here. Several related features: individual results are now carrying a 'find this book in a library' link [an example]in the advanced search option you...read full entry...
  • Sphere ...September 09, 2006 – I know some folks who have some elaborate arrangements set up for tracking stuff across a variety of blog search engines. And catch lots of interesting things. Most folks I know probably never use any of them. As Steve Lawson points out various folks have ego-feeds to allow them track...read full entry...
  • Search is more than searchSeptember 04, 2006 – Bjørn Olstad, CTO of FAST, presented at Ticer on search [pdf]. A couple of things caught my eye. It would have been nice to hear the presentation - I have only the .ppt to go on. He talks about a move from content management to consumption management. And taking the...read full entry...
  • Discovery and disclosure againAugust 27, 2006 – I have a short article about the catalog(ue) in the current issue of Ariadne:I think that this shift poses major questions for the future of the catalogue, and this shift is bound up with the difference between discovery (identifying resources of interest) and location (identifying where those resources of interest...read full entry...
  • Hits and clicksAugust 13, 2006 – Nicholas Carr summarizes an analysis of the leaked AOL data.An analysis of the recently disclosed AOL search data, by SEO Blackhat, adds a further gloss to this phenomenon. According to the analysis, the #1 ranked search result garners, on average, 42.1% of all clickthroughs. The clickthrough rate falls off precipitously...read full entry...
  • Discovery and disclosureAugust 08, 2006 – Science Library Pad has a couple of posts about libraries and the long tail. He makes the following interesting point contrasting 'availability' with 'discoverability':For example, PhotoBucket is in the availability business. You get a bucket of storage, you dump your photos in. It is mostly not in the discoverability business....read full entry...
  • Worldcat.org appearsAugust 06, 2006 – Worldcat.org has gone live. This is a major step: it consolidates access to the collections and services of thousands of libraries on the open web. 1.3 billion items in approximately 18,000 libraries worldwide, and growing. There is a downloadable search box to add to your own page. The syntax for...read full entry...
  • Intute: a retrospective noteJuly 25, 2006 – Intute is the 'new face' of the UK-based Resource Discovery Network. Recently launched, it brings together the various component services of the RDN into a more coherent web presence, from both branding and service points of view. Here is a description from the website blurb:Intute is a free online service...read full entry...
  • Good relations ...June 17, 2006 – I suggested below that we think about catalog - or other search system - features in terms of rank, relate, and recommend. Things, you notice, tend to come in threes .... In bibliographic systems we have created explicit relationships and we have used controlled data to create relationships - names,...read full entry...
  • Obscure Shakespearean gemsJune 14, 2006 – For Prospero, his library was dukedom enough. I verified this through a search of The Tempest on Google Book Search just now. Many readers will have seen that Google Book Search has a Shakespeare page:This summer we're working to make Shakespeare even more accessible with our website at www.google.com/shakespeare, where...read full entry...
  • Blog search and intentional dataJune 04, 2006 – I have been using the (related) blog search systems from ask.com and bloglines.com the last few days. I had pretty much settled down to using Technorati.com and blogsearch.google.com. I am impressed enough to use the Ask/Bloglines offering for the next while.Well, it's finally time for a tasty collision: introducing Blog...read full entry...
  • Federated search that doesn't very wellJune 01, 2006 – I have written quite a bit in these pages about metasearch (see list of related entries below). In some recent presentations I have also suggested that metasearch is not a long-term solution to library or user needs. This has sometimes caused query or consternation, as libraries are investing considerably in...read full entry...
  • Lifting out the catalog discovery experienceMay 14, 2006 – I have been talking to a variety of groups in recent weeks, and the future of the catalog has risen to the top of the list in discussion and questions. The catalog is a topic of major debate. However, this discussion is really raising a set of broader issues about...read full entry...
  • OpenSearch and SRUApril 17, 2006 – An interesting post on the OpenSearch developers' blog about a visit by Rob Sanderson, one of the people involved in SRU. We see many opportunities for collaboration going forward. To start, we hope to foster ongoing dialog between the OpenSearch and SRU communities. And on the technical side, there are...read full entry...
  • QOTD: day one of book searchApril 03, 2006 – One of the discussion points surrounding the mass digitization initiatives has been the prospect of services built over the full-text, which go beyond search. Gregory Crane provided some intriguing thoughts from a digital library research and scholarly perspective in a recent D-Lib Magazine article: What do you do with a...read full entry...
  • Rank, recommend and relateMarch 20, 2006 – I talked about search, share and subscribe below, as potential user requirements. I notice a growing tendency to describe services in terms of three verbs. Here is an alliterative line up for the catalog: rank, recommend and relate....read full entry...
  • The simple search box and the rich texture of suggestionMarch 12, 2006 – I have been in a couple of meetings recently where people have been talking about the attraction of the simple, single box search as the ultimate goal. To this, my response is 'yes, and what else?'. In Google's case, pagerank has been the principal 'what else'. Going forward they have...read full entry...
  • Coda: search, share and subscribeMarch 08, 2006 – I talked about search, share and subscribe the other day as library systems develop more engaging experiences. Here are some additional notes based on some things coming over my desk in the last day or so. Via Alison Pope I read about how custom RSS feeds and Opensearch are included...read full entry...
  • Search, share and subscribeMarch 06, 2006 – We seem to have turned a corner with library search. For example, one of the strategic priorities for the British Library is to 'transform search and navigation' in support of access to their collections, although there is little detail about what will be attempted. There has been significant recent discussion...read full entry...
  • Quotes of the day: what business is Google in?January 17, 2006 – Here is Bubblegeneration talking about Google's interesting acquisition of dMarc, which helps bring advertisers and radio stations together:You shouldn't see Goog as the world's information organizer. It's more accurate to say that it's the world's ad allocator. [Bubblegeneration Strategy Lab]Here is Phil Wainewright saying something similar about Google in the...read full entry...
  • Systemwide discovery and deliveryDecember 22, 2005 – Judith Pearce of the National Library of Australia has written a really good paper on the emerging shape of resource discovery and delivery, with some contribution from my OCLC Pica colleague Janifer Gatenby. It takes a systemwide perspective: so the focus is on what we somtimes call resource sharing. I...read full entry...
  • On demand book searchDecember 13, 2005 – Thinking about book content indexing again .... John Battelle announced the Alexa Web Search Platform on his blog earlier today. In short, Alexa, an Amazon-owned search company started by Bruce Gilliat and Brewster Kahle (and the spider that fuels the Internet Archive), is going to offer its index up to...read full entry...
  • Cool searchDecember 10, 2005 – Thom has a note about some really nice search systems on his blog. Check there for the details of how these work. The search systems are based on an index of phrases, and suggest results as you type. These, combined with speed of response, give a very good serach experience....read full entry...
  • Blog searching againDecember 04, 2005 – I posted a little while ago about blog searching options. As others do, I have several 'ego feeds' set up to track posts. No service is miles ahead of the others, although Technorati and Google's Blogsearch are what I tend to watch. That said, others will occasionally have something that...read full entry...
  • Tag teamsNovember 15, 2005 – There is an interesting article in Business 2.0 about the 'Flickrization of Yahoo'.Indeed, the Flickr purchase helped ignite a larger strategy. Thanks to a new generation of managers like Butterfield and Fake, Yahoo is starting to see how user-generated content, or "social media," is a key weapon in its war...read full entry...
  • Blog searchNovember 06, 2005 – There are lots of blog search services around. It will be interesting to see how they consolidate, and what emerges as preferred functionality. I have ego feeds set up with several and in my experience none does significantly better than others, although I don't watch it closely. Blogpulse, Technorati, PubSub,...read full entry...
  • From metasearch to distributed information environmentsOctober 09, 2005 – The papers from the recent NISO OpenURL and Metasearch meeting provide a very useful roundup of the state-of-the-art in the declared subject area. But they also touch on other topics facing libraries as they construct distributed information environments. Some things that lodged with me as I skimmed powerpoint:One stop shop...read full entry...
  • The ping is the thingOctober 08, 2005 – Stories need hooks, and the Economist has one. Libraries versus conversations. Make that big-assed threaded conversations. Architecture follows metaphor, says David Sifry of Technorati, and he goes on to suggest that the search engines were built on the metaphor of the library. As librarians, Mr Sifry acknowledges, Google and Yahoo!...read full entry...
  • Hwaet! Such swift search, SRU on a clusterSeptember 19, 2005 – My colleagues write about parallel text searching on a Beowulf Cluster in the current DLib Magazine:This article describes our experience building a scalable, relatively inexpensive, and fast searching framework that demonstrated 172 searches per second on a database of 50 million records. The article should be of interest to anyone...read full entry...
  • Browser integration of searchSeptember 17, 2005 – Interesting post on the Amazon Web Services Blog:Microsoft's IE blog is reporting on the behind the scenes efforts which lead up to the recent announcement that IE7 will support A9.com's OpenSearch interface. You can read even more about this on the A9 blog. [Amazon Web Services Blog: Behind the Scenes...read full entry...
  • Amazoogle in the catalog(ue)September 02, 2005 – The Olympics are coming to London in 2012. I was looking at some of the Olympics material, and spent some time looking at the University of East London site. UeL will be a venue for some events. I notice that the catalog gives you the option to select Amazon and...read full entry...
  • Metasearch: a boundary caseAugust 29, 2005 – A couple of metasearch reports have been recently released. One, carried out as part of an NSDL project at the California Digital Library, proposes 'approaches, principles and practices' which might be applied by anybody evaluating integrated search options [pdf]. The second, the RLG Metasearch Survey Report, discusses member experiences and...read full entry...
  • Simpler searchAugust 25, 2005 – One of the observations over time wrt library standards -- I am thinking mainly of protocols -- has been that we have overdesigned, ending up with solutions that are complex enough to cater for every last case, but are not simple enough to be widely adopted. For this reason, they...read full entry...
  • What's the catalog forAugust 18, 2005 – David Weinberger noted Tim Bray's nice post about the Bodleian a while ago. He discussed the catalog and went on to say:So, for fifteen years a catalog was useful for browsing for books you did not know existed. After that, the catalog reverted to being a tool for inventorying stock...read full entry...
  • PauseAugust 12, 2005 – I note that the Google Print Library program is being paused. It will be interesting to see what happens next: play, rewind, fast forward ...? Adam Smith writes in the Google Blog:We think most publishers and authors will choose to participate in the publisher program in order introduce their work...read full entry...
  • Texting mapsAugust 10, 2005 – A nifty feature on Google Maps allows you to add your own text to the 'address balloon'. Put the text you want between brackets after the location details you enter in the search box. For example: 6565 frantz rd, Dublin OH 43017-3395 (Here is OCLC) Via CIE Thoughts....read full entry...
  • Ranking and interestingnessAugust 09, 2005 – One of the notable things about Google Scholar is the citation-based ranking. There was some discussion recently about how Google was looking at new ways of ranking news articles, in part based on reputational characteristics of the source of the news. Now Flickr has announced its work on interestingness:The other...read full entry...
  • A pedestrian search serviceAugust 08, 2005 – According to a Wired story A9's street-level picturing exercise seems to be creating value for users.They also offer context. Caro-Brice thinks users will end up using A9.com for apartment hunting, for example, and for locating desirable neighborhoods and green spaces. Also, users would never again fret over booking their elderly...read full entry...
  • A Dewey browseJuly 30, 2005 – I am very pleased to see the DeweyBrowser appear on our ResearchWorks page. Thom trailed its appearance a while ago and had discussed some technical context. There is some more information on a background page. We have brought it up over a collection of eBooks extracted from WorldCat; we will...read full entry...
  • Search interfacesJuly 27, 2005 – Another paper from Dan Rehak. A useful comparison of machine interfaces for search. There are several available interface specifications, protocols and APIs for repository search and information retrieval. This document compares key characteristics of these to inform selection or profiling of one or more of these specifications for use within...read full entry...
  • Crawling library resourcesJuly 17, 2005 – A colleague points me to Tony Boston's discussion of how the National Library of Australia has exposed NLA resources for crawling and indexing by search engines.The National Library of Australia is making digital copies of special collection materials available over the Internet. About 100,000 collection items including pictures, maps, sheet...read full entry...
  • Subscribe is the new searchJune 27, 2005 – Well maybe a bit of an exxaggeration ... ... but it is interesting reading the Microsoft discussion about how subscribe has joined browse and search as modes of interaction. This seems to be resonating, for reasons which will be clear to anybody who has set up watchlists in Technorati or...read full entry...
  • Side by side searching for LorcanJune 23, 2005 – I may have to switch to Yahoo! Search as my default search engine. Searching in Twingine for lorcan puts me as the number one Lorcan in Yahoo! and the number two in Google ;-) Twingine allows you to search Google and Yahoo! Search at the same time. It brings each...read full entry...
  • New beta TechnoratiJune 12, 2005 – The new Technorati, now in Beta, is a major step forward for blog search services. It pulls in data from flickr, furl, delicious. It ranks books, movies, blogs, and news stories by number of blog mentions. It highlights searches by tag (still thinking about tags). Again, what impresses about the...read full entry...
  • Firefox search extensionsJune 01, 2005 – I have not seen mention of the FireFox extensions for OpenWorldCat search elsewhere, so here is a note. There are extensions for Yahoo! and Google. These were developed by Mike Teets, who credits Ron Buckley with initiating the idea with related work. And yes, before somebody asks ;-), they have...read full entry...
  • The user interface that isn'tMay 15, 2005 – Increasingly we need to think about library services in the context of the full web of user experience. This is easy to say, but it is rather more difficult to tease out what it means. One way to think about it is to think about some of the characteristics of...read full entry...
  • Rich browsingMay 11, 2005 –  Eric Hellman has an interesting post in the current discussion on Web4lib about relative approaches to search by libraries and Amazoogle. He suggests that libraries should focus on browse, and leave search to those that specialize in it: I think that libraries should consider returning to their historic roots...read full entry...
  • Mental models of searchMay 09, 2005 – The usually interesting Jackob Nielsen's current alertbox is about mental models of search:Search is such a prominent part of the Web user experience that users have developed a firm mental model for how it's supposed to work. Users expect search to have three components: A box where they can type...read full entry...
  • Search and memoryMay 01, 2005 – An interesting post on Ida takes tea talks about the use of bookmarking tools - such as Furl - as a sort of memory. And further:These (perhaps unanticipated) social and cognitive attributes of web service tools tend to support John S. Rhodes' related claim that search engines such as Google...read full entry...
  • Simply search March 29, 2005 – My colleagues have been talking about OpenSearch from A9. Thom Hickey reports on his new blog. Is there a middle ground here? Something that is compatible with SRU, but closer to A9? Our Metasearch representative, Ralph LeVan thinks so and has offered to develop guidelines to make this happen. The...read full entry...
  • Metasearch, google and the restMarch 20, 2005 – How quickly things can change! Last year there were discussions about the Google-busting potential of metasearch. How naive. This year there are discussions about the metasearch-busting potential of Google Scholar. Let us wait and see. Clearly there are various issues with metasearch: the variety of data and interfaces that has...read full entry...
  • Jim Gray interviews Tim BrayMarch 19, 2005 – Tim Bray talks about search, XML, semantic web, RDF and other things in an interview in Queue. The interviewer is Jim Gray of Microsoft Research. I wonder were the rhyming names deliberate ;-)I spent two years sitting on the Web consortium's technical architecture group, on the phone every week and...read full entry...
  • Sun searchJanuary 30, 2005 – This looks like an interesting place to follow discussions about search.So, this is one of the hard problems (You could probably get away with saying that it's the hard problem) in search: what is a reliable measure of the aboutness of a page, given a query? I don't think there's...read full entry...
  • Find other editions in Open WorldCatJanuary 29, 2005 – We recently added a button on the Open WorldCat rendezvous page to find other 'editions' of the found item. This is an interim approach to implementing the FRBR model which clusters versions of a work. It helps find, for example, translations of a particular item. See Reading in the dark...read full entry...
  • The sound of words: Amazoogle and GooglezonJanuary 29, 2005 – Amazon, Google, eBay: massive computational and data platforms which exercise strong gravitational web attraction. I coined the expression 'Amazoogle' to have a handle to talk about this phenomenon in our space. It seems to me that Amazoogle has a slightly uplifting sense; it evokes a smile. The Museum of Media...read full entry...
  • Yellow pages on AmazonJanuary 27, 2005 – A9 has an impressive new service. It gives you a Yellow Pages search, plus on-map-locator, plus the ability to place a call with found businesses, plus (in ten cities) 'walkable' pictures of the streetscapes in which the business sits. It allows you to find and ring libraries for example, and...read full entry...
  • Deskilling searching?January 27, 2005 – A discussion has broken out in the UK about proposals from the University of Bangor to reduce the number of librarians in light of the changed environment of search. This is a passage from the message from a library staff member which sparked the debate:The University of Wales Bangor in...read full entry...
  • Most users are happy with search enginesJanuary 23, 2005 – The Pew Internet and American Life project has released another interesting report - Search engine users [pdf]. It carries the following line on its title page: 'Internet users are confident, satisfying and trusting - but they are also unaware and naive'. Today's Internet users are very positive about what search...read full entry...
  • Google: The world's digital library?January 16, 2005 – Today's NYT has an article on Apple's recent announcements. Randall Stross, the author, notes in passing:Google has a near monopoly on the digital library business, which enables it to do very well with advertizing that monetizes eyeballs.[May require registration: Digital Domain: After 20 Years, Finally Capitalizing on Cool]The choice of...read full entry...
  • Google - behind the scenesJanuary 05, 2005 – My colleague Thom Hickey pointed me at this presentation from Jeff Dean, a Distinguished Engineer in Google's Systems Lab. It provides an overview of how Google works and looks at some of the engineering issues it faces moving forward. Two things struck me. The first was simply, again, the scale...read full entry...
  • Fielded search and citation ranking in Google ScholarDecember 30, 2004 – The introduction of a limited fielded search in Google Scholar has been noted in several places. I mention below the apparent role of citation in ranking. Together, these are interesting as they are responsive to the particular characteristics of the materials in Scholar and are a departure from the general...read full entry...
  • Looking ahead and rankingDecember 29, 2004 – John Battelle's predictions for search, rss, blogs and other stuff for 2005 are an interesting read. My eye was caught by number 7:7. Yahoo and Google will both test systems that combine local merchant inventory information with search, so that merchants can use search as a direct sales channel. By...read full entry...
  • Samuel Pepys is bloggingDecember 08, 2004 – In a delightful conceit, Phil Gyford presents Samuel Pepys diary in the form of a blog. This site is a presentation of the diaries of Samuel Pepys, the renowned 17th century diarist who lived in London, England (read more about him). A new entry written by Pepys will be published...read full entry...
  • Real retrievalDecember 02, 2004 – A colleague pointed me to an interview with Google's vice-president of engineering, Urs Hölzle. It may not have much new in it but is a good overview. I was struck by the following paragraph:The job is not helped by the nature of the Web. "In academia," said Hölzle, "the information...read full entry...
  • Externalizing searchNovember 29, 2004 – Art Rhyno continues his interesting series on the inadvertent gifts of recent Google developments. He wonders:... if library systems can offload a lot of the indexing work that our current applications sweat so hard to achieve. Both Apple and Microsoft have poured significant resources into making their next generation of...read full entry...
  • Yahoo tipsNovember 28, 2004 – Website design tips [ppt] for improving findability in Yahoo! Presented at WebmasterWorld's Search Conference #7....read full entry...
  • Search and searchNovember 11, 2004 – Walt Crawford explains in the current Cites and Insights [pdf] how Lorcan Dempsey and Walt Crawford have been linked by www.info.com. Do a search on either of our names and you are asked do you want the other. Perhaps it is because our names co-occur on a variety of bibliographies...read full entry...
  • Google desktop and library collectionsOctober 22, 2004 – Art Rhyno has an interesting discussion of using Google Desktop to integrate search of library collections into Google. This is the biggest part of the appeal of the Google Desktop to me, it brings attention to local content, and in this case, local content can include the library catalogue. The...read full entry...
  • One, two, three: the trajectory of searchOctober 19, 2004 – In my current Update column, I suggest that we can think of three stages of library search in the web era: monolithic search system, metasearch, and data exposure. These put together data, search engine and user interface in different ways.Hardly a day goes by without another arrangement between an information...read full entry...
  • Google and clusteringOctober 17, 2004 – Several brief accounts have appeared of Peter Norvig's presentation at the Web 2.0 conference where he spoke about Google's work with clustering approaches. This is pretty interesting, given the mythic status that the page rank approach has achieved. One account:"[We're] trying to go just beyond keywords and the linking structure...read full entry...
  • Manber on GoogleOctober 10, 2004 – Bag and baggage quotes Udi Manber of A9 on Google: The search panel covered tons of ground, but talked a good deal about doing creative things with the UI. Udi Manber had this great spiel that sounded like it had tripped off his tongue one or two times before, concerning...read full entry...
  • Rehak's papersOctober 03, 2004 – Dan Rehak is very active in the development of specifications in the learning technology arena. He is based at the Learning Systems Architecture Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon. Two recent papers intersect with our interests. Good&plenty, Googlezon, your grandmother and Nike: challenges for ubiquitous learning & learning technology [PDF]. This caught...read full entry...
  • ARROW discovery serviceSeptember 26, 2004 – The Arrow (Australian Research Repositories Online to the World) project has a preview search system up. This discovery service provides access to Australian scholarly materials. It currently indexes metadata from 6 university repositories. [Australian Research Repositories Online to the World]...read full entry...
  • Mastery and user interfaceSeptember 11, 2004 – Jakob Nielsen on different user interface experiences. He classifies the experiences as involving mastery, mystery, or misery! The original ideology of hypertext and the World Wide Web, as expressed by Vannevar Bush (1945), Ted Nelson (1960), and Tim Berners-Lee (1991) makes individual users the masters of the content and lets...read full entry...
  • Google as a platform againAugust 24, 2004 – Steve Gillmor extends the notion of Google as a platform. Some extracts:One way to handicap Google is to deconstruct the notion that Google's intellectual property is bound solely to search. In fact, it's bound to the emerging platform known as software-as-a-service. Fellow IPO salesforce.com offers a hosted software service, which...read full entry...
  • Adam Bosworth on keeping it simpleAugust 08, 2004 – Adam Bosworth discusses how the user focus changes in moving from BEA to Google, and how this influences thinking about how to build services. it is interesting to me how this focus around simplicity in the services world could carry through even to the plumbing people use. For example take...read full entry...
  • Google and the Ferrari factorAugust 06, 2004 – Apparently, there is some concern that if Google staff become suddenly wealthy they may loose some of their incentive to work. Karen Goodfriend, a US financial adviser who specialises in assisting "suddenly wealthy" individuals, says the Google staff should brace themselves for deep and unpredictable psychological changes. [BBC NEWS |...read full entry...
  • Local YahooAugust 05, 2004 – We are definitely in a race ... Yahoo now has a Local Yahoo service, which aims to find businesses and services near you....read full entry...
  • MSN sandboxAugust 02, 2004 – Along the lines of Google Labs, and even, dare I say, our own ResearchWorks, is the MSN Sandbox.This is the place to play with new MSN technologies, look at prototypes, and peek behind the scenes at some of our new ideas. Let us know what you think about how we...read full entry...
  • A9July 24, 2004 – I notice that the A9 search box now appears on Amazon. There is also an A9 Toolbar. A9 is headed up by Udi Manber who rejoiced in the interesting title Chief Algorithms Officer while he worked for Amazon. He is credited with developing Amazon's Search inside the book technology. Manber...read full entry...
  • Aaron Swartz on Google's ad policyJune 24, 2004 – It is increasingly clear that Google cannot enforce their censorship policy with any semblance of fairness. Worse, [their editorial policy in ads undermines their claim of fair, computer-generated results](http://google.blogspace.com/archives/001233). Google should stick to ensuring adds are accurate, and let the computer decide which ones to show based on which are...read full entry...
  • Critique of Google's handling of CrossRef dataJune 12, 2004 – Useful exploration of how Google surfaces CrossRef data, comparing the search experience unfavorably with CrossRef itself. It would be interesting to consider though to what extent Google's effectiveness depends on uniform treatment and presentation of masses of data. Google accepted the gift, loaded and indexed the pages, and apparently declared...read full entry...
  • Changing face of A&IJune 12, 2004 – Overview of changes in A&I landscape from John Regazzi of Elsevier. This simple supply chain, however, has been transformed today into a complex, some might argue 'too complex,' information network. [Miles Conrad Memorial Lecture - 2004]He makes some statements about scientists' and librarians' preferred sources of authoritative information which have...read full entry...
  • Google localJune 09, 2004 – Google Local gives pretty impressive results. Find business and services local to you....read full entry...
  • Google apologizes for result caused by rankingMay 15, 2004 – Aaron Swartz notes interesting Google action:Google has "bought" an ad for the search term Jew that goes on top of the first result so they can apologize for their first result! [Jew Watch Watch (Google Weblog)]...read full entry...
  • Official Google blogMay 11, 2004 – Get the latest word direct from the Googleplex about new technology, hot issues, and the wide world of search. [Google Blog]...read full entry...
  • Who owns the dataMay 09, 2004 – An interesting set of blog entries discuss the centralised massive presence of Google in the loosely coupled web world. Is control of computing power or data more important? Not quite either, says Phil Wainewright: Once this happens, it'll matter less and less where the computing physically takes place, since computation...read full entry...
  • Google vs phone vs libraryMay 06, 2004 – Light-hearted exercise where the library is pitted against Google in answering vital questions of the day.Google, the world's most popular internet search engine, is about to offer shares to the public. It has built its reputation on being the fastest and most accurate way to find information. But is the...read full entry...
  • Mooter search engineApril 30, 2004 – Mooter's graphic display does not do much for me....read full entry...
  • SRW interface to RDNApril 18, 2004 – The RDN provides a public SRW (SOAP) search interface to the RDN ResourceFinder. The RDN SRW interface conforms to SRW version 1.1. [Working with the RDN] If you want to search for 'banana' ;-):Note that it also supports simple DC and IMS views of the records. For those who like...read full entry...
  • Lay indexing and GoogleApril 14, 2004 – Interesting article about Google. The Google algorithm assumes mythical proportions.The culture of lay indexing has been created by the aggregation strategy employed by Web search engines such as Google. Meaning is constructed in this culture by harvesting semantic content from Web pages and using hyperlinks as a plebiscite for the...read full entry...
  • Google papersApril 05, 2004 – Below is a partial list of papers written by people now at Google, showing the range of backgrounds of people in Google Engineering. [labs.google.com - Papers by Googlers] Spotted in the blog entrynoted by Thom....read full entry...
  • YakpacMarch 31, 2004 – Yakpak is a children't user interface for OPAC data. It sits on top of a Z39.50 client. Produced by IndexData it is worth a look. It will be launched at ALA in Orlando....read full entry...
  • Yahoo! and library and digital library contentMarch 07, 2004 – A Yahoo! press release [Yahoo! Search Launches New Content Acquisition Program, Providing More Relevant, Comprehensive Online Content For Users] announces relationships with Library of Congress, New York Public Library, National Science Digital Library, NPR, Wikipedia, and Project Gutenberg, among others. It will be interesting to see what happens this trend...read full entry...
  • Bray on YahooMarch 04, 2004 – Tim Bray translates Yahoo marketingspeak:Via the invaluable John Battelle, a pointer to this Search Engine Watch piece on the advent of Paid Search over at Yahoo. It contains some remarkable examples of marketingese, and I thought it would be helpful to provide a translation. [ongoing � Yahoo Paid Search, Translated]...read full entry...
  • RecallJanuary 29, 2004 – Recall from the Internet Archive is pretty interesting on first inspection. An outline is provided on the Help Page. Results are graphed over time. I just tried a few searches. Results were interesting, but I was not sure what was going on some of the time. Need to look at...read full entry...
  • How good is the catalog?January 25, 2004 – Pretty interesting piece by a member of faculty in the history department at Swarthmore. I quote at length -- follow the link for the full piece.Using our library's catalogue, Tripod, I was both impressed at how generally strong our collection is for a small liberal-arts college (shared with Bryn Mawr...read full entry...
  • Thom on text retrievalJanuary 09, 2004 – Thom has a nice piece on text retrieval on ResourceShelf (arranged by Shirley).To misquote William Gibson, "the future of text retrieval is already here, it's just not evenly distributed." High performance searching of large files is benefiting from the continuing exponential drop in computing and storage costs, with clusters of...read full entry...
  • Similar pagesJanuary 09, 2004 – I always find it interesting to do a google 'find similar' on pages. It can lead you to interesting places, suggest related groups working in your area, or just give you puzzling results. For example, doing a 'find similar' on Diane's Terminology Services page brings you to, among other things,...read full entry...
  • Tim Bray and jobsJanuary 06, 2004 – Tim Bray announces that he is looking for something new to do. He remains associated with Antarctica but would like to work on search in a new environment.But I can be more specific than that. Here's what I'd really like to do: Over the last few months, I�ve written a...read full entry...
  • Tim Bray and searchDecember 19, 2003 – Many of you will have seen this, but interesting to note the series.This series of essays on the construction, deployment and use of search technology (by which I mean primarily "full-text" search) was written between June and December of 2003. It has fifteen instalments not including this table of contents....read full entry...
  • Google in FortuneNovember 30, 2003 – More Google IPO speculation. One point of special interest: the article discusses how AOL, among others, is worried that Google not only provides search (complementary to AOL services) but also aims to be a destination portal (competitive with AOL services). Aversion to bureaucracy is turning out to be better in...read full entry...
  • Metasearch meetingNovember 27, 2003 – Several of the attendees from the October 30 NISO metasearch workshop gathered later that evening to discuss protocol requirements for metasearch. The meeting was initiated on behalf of the SRW implementors who are trying to understand the protocol requirements for metasearch. [The SRW implementors are trying to understand the IR...read full entry...
  • Another CIPNovember 19, 2003 – Several colleagues met with Norbert Lossau of Bielefeld University this morning. Norbert is on a tour of US universities and Jay arranged for him to visit OCLC. Bielefeld is working with FAST -- the text search company -- to create library gateway services. One of the interesting things they are...read full entry...
  • Text retrieval primer from OracleNovember 18, 2003 – Introductory overview to information retrieval evaluation from Oracle. Interesting to see discussion of precision, recall, TREC conferences, etc, in this context. Text retrieval engines, popularly known as search engines, return a list of documents (the hitlist) for a query. Typically there are some good documents in the list and some...read full entry...
  • Google and pizzaNovember 16, 2003 – Want to know where to get a pizza near where the Dempsey-Lennon family lives in Columbus? Try: Google Search: pizza 43214 Library works quite nicely. So does some other stuff. Not everything though....read full entry...
  • Udi Manber and A9November 01, 2003 – There does not seem to be much available on the web about Amazon's new search technology company, A9. Nevertheless, the online retailer recently placed Manber at the helm of A9, a separately branded company based in Palo Alto, Calif. He's charged with hiring and building the "best e-commerce search technology"...read full entry...
  • Automatic classification and web harvestingOctober 30, 2003 –  Jessica Lindholm, Tomas Schonthal and Kjell Jansson describe the background to and the work involved in setting up Engine-e, a Web index that uses automatic classification as a means for the selection of resources in Engineering. Considerations in offering a robot-generated Web index as a successor to a manually...read full entry...
  • Economist on Google IPOOctober 30, 2003 – Via Brian:Even more frightening (especially to those who remember Netscape's fate in the browser wars), Microsoft smells blood. It is currently working on its own search algorithm, which it hopes to make public early next year, around the probable time of Google's share listing. Historically, Microsoft has been good at...read full entry...
  • Google glossaryOctober 23, 2003 –  Continuing Google's quest to build everything into the search results, Google Glossary has gone live on the main Google site. Do a search for something like define elephant or define dna and you get back a definition with your search results. Search for define: dna or click "more results"...read full entry...
  • Recombinant libraries and special collections in ShelfLifeOctober 21, 2003 – The October 16 issue of ShelfLife refers to my forthcoming article on portals (now on the website):This article explores the design and use of portals in a library environment. It discusses the motivations for building portals, it discusses portal architectures and typology, and it examines the user environment in which...read full entry...