2009 April | Federated Search BlogFederated Search

Archive for April, 2009

29
Apr

Federated search gets beaten up a lot so it’s always nice to get some positive attention. If you want to read some over-the-top cheerleader-quality positive writing about federated search just check out this article at the Kansas State University “Talking in the Library” blog.

D.J. Beckley wrote this “Federated Search Engine = Awesome” “tips and tricks” article to entertain and educate. The article starts like this:

You might not know this little bit of information, but one of the coolest things to do in the library doesn’t involve acts that might get you banned from the building. It’s actually federated searching and you can do it in the future if you haven’t already! Seemingly contrary to its name, federated searching does not involve the Department of Homeland Security, illegal wiretaps, or raids on your personal belongings

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27
Apr

I hadn’t heard about Yahoo! Alpha until I read this piece of a blog article titled Google vs Yahoo Search, at “The Tomes of Experience.”

Which I guess leads me into Yahoo’s foray into Federated search called Alpha. Yahoo claim that “Alpha is a new beta product from Yahoo!7 that introduces the concept of Federated Search. With Alpha, you can search across many different information sources all on one place”.. Holy tuna, batman! “Search across many information sources from one place”?….Sounds like a regular search engine to me. *bored* The quality of search results don’t appear to be any different to regular Yahoo, but the UI is very different. Kind of like Live Search (and we all remember how that went)…

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24
Apr

Hat tip to iNode blog, who found it at boomerang.nl.

22
Apr

Last November I wrote about Matt, a software developer and graduate student in computer science. Matt had blogged about a deep web crawler he was building. Five months later, I’m curious to know how you’re doing, Matt. Please let us know if you’ve done more work on your crawler since your last post mentioning the subject on November 21.

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20
Apr

I recently ran into this review of a new book, “Going Beyond Google.” The book is authored by Jane Devine and Francine Egger-Sider. The review got me curious so I contacted the publisher, Neal-Schuman, and got a review copy.

The book’s subtitle is “The Invisible Web in Learning and Teaching” and that’s what the book is about, educating people about the part of the web that many of us refer to as the deep Web. The book is targeted to students in LIS programs who are first learning about search technologies. The book aims to broaden their horizons and to wean them from the attitude that Google knows all. The book is a small paperback, just 156 pages, but it’s densely packed with information.

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16
Apr

Dana Douglas delivered a presentation at the Information Architecture Summit: User Interface Issues with Metasearch. The talk got my attention because it’s not just based on someone’s untested ideas. Dana’s firm, UserWorks, did usability testing of a number of federated search applications. These included Science.gov, Scitopia.org, and a number of federated search applications at the Library of Congress, the NIH Library, and the American Chemical Society. Note that the search engines for the first two applications were built by blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies.

I believe the slides do an excellent job of summarizing the major points of the usability studies on the specific applications; I’ll emphasize what I think is most important. If you’re going to listen to the talk and watch the slides you may find the points below helpful:

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14
Apr

MuseGlobal CEO Kate Noerr published an article in her blog: “Not your Father’s Feds: Taming the Widening Scope of U.S. Government Content Initiatives.” The article speaks to the focus of the Obama administration on open government, Web 2.0, and that this all means information overload to the max. Kate says it well:

So if you were hoping for more openness and access in the U.S. federal government, the good news is that it’s coming in buckets. The bad news is that you have lots and lots of new and changing buckets to sift through to make sense of it all – even, and perhaps especially, if you’re the government.

Kate’s article got me thinking about the many sources of government information and how challenging it is to navigate them or to even know what exists in the big government cyberspace. And then it occurred to me that many of us (Americans at least) are thinking about our government today since tomorrow is tax day. I spent time last night digging up state and federal tax extension forms and estimated tax forms so the government is at least on MY mind. So, to lighten things up a bit on “tax day eve” I came up with a quiz about government resources.

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10
Apr

On panel and tweets

Author: Sol

A couple of (unrelated) items for today.

1. I’ve been invited to lead a panel at the Enterprise Search Summit West conference in San Jose in November. I’m pretty excited since I’ve not been to conferences in a couple of years. Leading this panel will be interesting because the topic will be related to federated search in the enterprise and I know that not everyone agrees on what enterprise search is, on whether federated search fits in the enterprise, and on how necessary federated search is in the enterprise or anywhere else for that matter.

I’ve put a call out on the LinkedIn Federated Search and Enterprise Search groups looking for panelists who know both worlds. I’ve gotten a few replies and I’d like to receive some more. The exact topic has yet to be determined; ideally there will be sufficient diversity among those responding to put together a panel to share differing viewpoints and to also help shape the topic before we “go live.” This is not going to be a “federated search will save the world” panel by any means.

If you’re interested in being considered for the panel or know of someone I should be considering, please drop me a line (or have them drop me a line) in the next week via my email address in the About page.

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8
Apr

[ Editor’s note: Rich Turner was the first place winner in this blog’s “Predict the Future of Federated Search” writing contest. His winning essay was published in this month’s Computers in Libraries Magazine and Rich participated in a panel discussion on the subject at the recent Computers In Libraries Conference. I asked Rich to share his experience with the contest with blog readers. Below is his response.

Rich Turner is Vice President of Marketing for Content Analyst Company, LLC, in Reston. VA. ]

Rich Turner shares contest experience

Content Analyst Company is a search technology company – albeit a fairly advanced engine, and catering to very specific markets. We track some 100 other search technology companies – as well as a number of blogs on search, and “federatedsearchblog” is one we regularly read.

When the essay contest was originally announced, it was intriguing. As a commercial company, we are usually focused on what our customers are asking for now, and while our roadmap anticipates future requirements and strategies, we don’t often have the opportunity to really think about what the future will be like in a decade.

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6
Apr

Three weeks ago I started my experiment to see if Biznar was finding documents related to the phrase “federated search” that Google wasn’t finding. In that experiment I was shocked to find that, of the 21 results Biznar Alerts sent me on March 14th, only 4 of them had ever been presented by Google Alerts.

Last week, two weeks after the initial experiment, I checked the same 21 Biznar results to see if Google did find them, but just later. You can see the 21 results I used for my experiment plus some clarifications of how I did my experiment in the original article.

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