Archive for the "contest" Category


Five noted experts in the federated search are serving as volunteer judges for our second annual contest. In the next few weeks they will have selected the winners.

Here are the bios of the judges.

Abe Lederman has 25 years of experience in computer software engineering. He began his career with Hewlett Packard and was then recruited to become a founding member of Verity, a startup pioneer in the field of search engine technology. In 1994, Abe left Verity and later founded Innovative Web Applications (IWA), a software consulting firm primarily serving Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). While consulting with LANL and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), Abe came to realize the enormous potential for federated search technology to accelerate the diffusion of knowledge. He founded Deep Web Technologies in 2002. Abe holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Todd Miller Todd Miller is President and Founder of gwabbit, maker of the award-winning series of gwabbit semantic contact capture and management products. Declared a “Head-slappingly simple solution to a grating problem” by BusinessWeek, gwabbit has won numerous industry awards, including Inc Magazine’s list of “Top Smartphone Apps for 2009,” as well as winner of the 2010 CES Mobile Apps Showdown, and a DEMOgod award — the highest honor bestowed by the nation’s premier technology conference for launching startup companies.

Prior to launching gwabbit, Todd founded the federated search company, WebFeat, which was sold to ProQuest in February 2008. WebFeat was used by thousands of libraries and information centers worldwide. Todd was also president of Knight Ridder Information’s SourceOne subsidiary and also worked at Ziff Davis’ Information Access Company subsidiary, where he developed and managed the highly successful InfoTrac product line.

Miller holds four patents in the field of search technology and authentication and session management. He has received awards from the Gartner Group, Reed Publishing, The DEMO Conference, and others. Miller has been a featured speaker on IBM’s eBusiness Tour and was featured in IBM’s “Success Stories” campaign. In his abundant spare time, Miller is a competitive horseback rider. He resides in Carmel Valley, CA with his wife and their rescue dogs, horses, and other quadrupeds.

Helen Mitchell has enjoyed working in the Enterprise Search arena for 20+ years. She currently has 2 main roles - 1) As Principal for Team Technology, Inc. leading an Enterprise Search Requirements project for the FDA as well as a search implementation for FDIC and 2) As Principal of her own IT Consulting Firm, Enterprising Solutions. Helen works closely with public and private sector clients to develop search strategies and solutions across disparate data sources and the deep web. She’s conducted Federated Search Webinars and will present 2 Continuing Education Federated Search courses at the Special Library Association’s Annual Conference. Being vendor neutral, she utilizes the ‘best’ technologies for clients to reduce costs, improve quality and efficiency, reduce ‘pain points’ and achieve a positive search experience. She retired from FDA in 2008 after 32 years of service where she led one of the largest enterprise search implementations among Civilian Federal Agencies. She facilitated integration of more than 20 million documents and applications into this system utilizing federated search connectors to improve their content findability. Helen is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars on search technologies.

Richard Tong is the Founder and President of Tarragon Consulting Corporation. Tarragon develops custom solutions to the critical knowledge management and content analysis problems faced by Government and Industry. Tarragon uses its in-depth business and technical expertise to support organizations in the creation of high-value applications for customers, suppliers, and employees.

Prior to starting Tarragon, Dr. Tong co-founded, and was CTO at, Sageware, Inc.. Prior to Sageware, Dr. Tong was Director of Advanced Technology at Verity, Inc.

Dr. Tong has over twenty-five years experience in the design and deployment of advanced information systems for Government and Industry. He has extensive consulting experience with Booz Allen Hamilton and with Advanced Decision Systems, where he directed the R&D team that created the information retrieval capability that led to the forming of Verity.

Dr. Tong received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England, and was a NATO Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Tong serves as a technical advisor to a number of companies, and provides expert technical assessments to support investment and M&A decisions. Dr. Tong has published extensively and is currently a member of the TREC Program Committee.

Dr. Walt Warnick is Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI); he directs the agency’s scientific and technical information operations. Dr. Warnick embraces the opportunities offered by the web to accelerate the spread of knowledge about science and technology. To this end, he has championed aggressive efforts to capitalize on technological advances to develop and provide state-of-the art products and services for sharing knowledge. Dr. Warnick and his colleagues continuously work to further advance web search technology.

Dr. Warnick was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2005 “for leadership in the federal scientific information community and for contributions to the conceptualization, development and implementation of innovative programs that significantly advance access to government information.” He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland and his Bachelor of Engineering Science from The Johns Hopkins University.


Going … going …

Author: Sol

Last reminder. Contest entries are due today.


We’re in the home stretch here. December 15 is the last day to get your contest submissions in. For those of you who don’t know about the contest and prizes, check out this press release.

SANTA FE, N.M., Dec. 2, 2009 — Submissions are due by December 15 for the second annual writing contest launched by the Federated Search Blog. Last year’s contest asked blog readers to predict the future of federated search and it rewarded winners with nearly $1,000 in cash prizes, and invaluable recognition in the industry through participation on a panel at the prestigious Computers In Libraries (CIL) Conference. This year’s contest doubles the cash prizes.

The 2010 contest challenges participants to creatively describe the most impressive federated search application they’ve ever seen or imagined. Submissions can be in the form of poetry (any style), essay, video, web-site mockup or other creative expression. An independent team of judges will choose first, second and third prize winners, who will earn cash prizes of $1000, $500 and $250 from Deep Web Technologies, sponsor of the Blog. Additionally, the winning submission will be featured in CIL Magazine and the top winner will participate in a panel at the CIL Conference in Spring 2010. Travel expenses will be paid by Deep Web Technologies.

“I’m excited about the contest. Aside from the cash prizes, I’m delighted about the visibility that the top winner gets and how that can greatly enhance his or her career, or help get a student’s career off to a great start,” said Sol Lederman, lead author for the Blog. “And, CIL’s support of the contest is very important to its success so I’m happy about their continued participation.”

Contest rules are available at


Abe (founder of Deep Web Technologies and sponsor of this blog) and I have been talking about the contest Deep Web Technologies is sponsoring. We want it to appeal to more people, not just to people who are good at writing essays, although we appreciate good essays. So, we’re going to encourage submissions in a variety of media. If you’re video-oriented or you’re a graphic designer, or you make awesome collages, or you’re another kind of artist, we want you to submit an entry for the contest.

The sky’s the limit on the form of your submission but you do need to address the contest theme:

Tell us about the most impressive federated search application you’ve ever seen, or about one you’ve dreamed up. How innovative can federated search be? What unique problems can it solve?

Contest entries will be judged on creativity, originality, vision and relevance to the theme.

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Last year we had six industry experts judge entries for our first writing contest. The volunteer judges all did an excellent job reading essays and scoring them across various dimensions. This year, we’d like to give six other people the opportunity to judge.

Who would you nominate to serve as a judge? That person, maybe you, needs to be an expert in federated search. Send contact information for the people you would like to be considered to sol dot lederman at gmail dot com, and I’ll take over from there. All nominations must be received by October 31. Judging will take place in early January. Each judge’s commitment will be six to eight hours. Judges will get some free press on this blog.

The contest topic was introduced here.

Tell us about the most impressive federated search application you’ve ever seen, or about one you’ve dreamed up. How innovative can federated search be? What unique problems can it solve?

Please spread the word and, if you’re thinking of submitting a contest entry, you should know that the prizes will be bigger this year.


Last year blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies sponsored a writing contest. We gave away cash and other nice prizes and we’re going to do it again this year.

While we don’t have all the details worked out we would like for everyone to start thinking about this contest. Here’s the theme:

Tell us about the most impressive federated search application you’ve ever seen, or about one you’ve dreamed up. How innovative can federated search be? What unique problems can it solve?

Over the coming weeks we’ll be fleshing out the details. In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you’d spread the word.


Steven J. Bell is the first runner up in the federated search writing contest. The aim of the contest was to predict the future of federated search. Below is Steven’s bio and his essay, in its entirety.

Steven J. Bell is Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services at Temple University. Previously he was Director of the Library at Philadelphia University and Assistant Director at Penn’s Wharton School Library, where he also earned his Ed.D. He writes and speaks about academic librarianship, learning technologies and library management. An Adjunct Professor at Drexel University’s College of Information Science and Technology, he teaches the academic librarianship course. His website and blog, “Steven Bell’s Keeping Up Web Site” and “The Kept-Up Academic Librarian” promote current awareness skills and resources. Steven is a co-founder of the Blended Librarian’s Online Learning Community on the Learning Times Network and has participated in numerous virtual presentations. He blogs for ACRLog, ACRL’s official Weblog, and Designing Better Libraries, a blog about design thinking and library user experiences. He is co-author of the book “Academic Librarianship by Design”. For additional information about Steven J. Bell or links to his projects, point your browser to

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Lee LeBlanc is the second runner up in the federated search writing contest. The aim of the contest was to predict the future of federated search. Below is Lee’s bio and his essay, in its entirety.

Lee LeBlanc is Continuing Education and Emerging Technologies Coordinator at SWFLN. Lee’s main interests are “continuous” education, leadership within libraries, and the strategic use of emerging technology in libraries.

Lee is one semester away from a Masters of Information and Library Science with concentrations in Information Architecture and Technology. Lee’s work career has somehow always revolved around information science. Having a librarian as a mentor after he got out of the military and worked through his undergrad, he developed a deep appreciation for what libraries could do for individuals and their communities.

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The six judges, noted federated search experts, have selected Rich Turner, Vice President of Marketing at Content Analyst Company, LLC, as the grand-prize writing contest winner. Mr. Turner receives a $500 award from contest and blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies. Additionally, his essay will be published in the April edition of Information Today’s Computers in Libraries Magazine. And, if that weren’t enough, Mr. Turner will participate in a panel discussion with noted industry experts Frank Cervone and Jeff Wisniewski at the upcoming Computers in Libraries Conference.

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A quick contest update: The six judges, noted federated search experts, are reading the contest submissions and assessing them for quality of writing, originality and vision. I will be announcing the three winners sometime in December. Note that I have removed the author names from the submissions so that the judging happens blindly.

This blog will publish a press release announcing the winners. This will give the three winners much deserved recognition. Plus, of course, the first prize winner will receive tremendous recognition at the Computers in Libraries Conference on April 1st of next year. (No April Fool’s joke.) And, the top winner will have his or her essay published in Computers in Libraries Magazine.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you submitted an essay to me and you and I have not interacted by email in the last four or five days you need to contact me ASAP; I want to make sure I did not miss any entries.