Search Convergence (and the Future of Search)

Mar 2, 2005 - 10:47 am 0 by

Oshoma Moma from MSN Search presents the overview of where search might be headed and the various fun projects they have planned to work on. So what will search be like in 2005? He says today�s reality is billions of web links but it can be hard to find what you need and there become many needs unanswered. The dream is the answer, discovery, recall, and publishing of any information anywhere, anytime. Search engines and portals are great ways to publish data and they will continue to be beyond 2005. He says we might see devices that don�t even look like mobile devices. The example that is given is about how people in Japan do things with their mobile phones that we only do on our desktops. So what might that convergence world look like? He says search will kinda fade into the background. All the things such as communication, productivity, entertainment, learning, commerce, will come along with search. You will not go to a search space to complete a search, it will already be integrated in to our existing activities. Oshoma gives examples from MSN desktop search about the possibilities of search. He shows you can organize you music, photos, etc. Search will just be an ingredient of someone else�s navigation. What�s different in C-world? Search in-context, enhanced user experiences, and entirely new experiences. We may also see natural computing such as cheap plentiful networking, voice, ink, gestures, and devices. Online everything�pictures, video, TV, music, news, blogs, RSS, casting, advertising worldwide. Online everything would be a complement to the other two things. There are trends to use new devices.

Jim Lanzone with Ask Jeeves opens up talking about how they started with trying to answer questions. He asks how we can ask a search engine to find out keys. In 2001 they purchased Teoma, and it was the first big step to what Ask is today. They stuck to the original premise, was to utilize a world class search strategy but also make it simple. One of the things they look at is a staircase approach working their way up the stairs. They look at the two different data types and devices. He quotes from the book Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital. He quotes the author, �Thomas Jefferson advanced the concept of libraries and the right to check out a book free of charge. But he never considered the likelihood that 20 million people may checkout the book for free online.� He continues with the quote �Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living.�

He goes into what they call smart answers that rolled out in late 2002. It gives the user more information such as weather on the location, etc. They also have something called Direct Answers, for searches that might require a full answer directly on the site. It appears Ask is trying to answer you question as soon as it can. If you can get it there, why would you click elsewhere? Jim talks about their desktop search and making it easy as possible to use the tools in the desktop search. He gives examples of using desktop search, you can find the document you are looking for. They are developing a music search. He says in the future desktop search will be fully integrated into the web. He says people are haven�t fully adopted it yet.

Google and search convergence, they think search is obviously important. Users already navigate the web by search as opposed to categories. What they find is that more information demand, search is the way they want to access this information. They are seeing a large amount of demand for Google Local. Google local had more page views than Froogle during the holiday shopping season when Google Local wasn�t even linked from the homepage. She puts up a map of the United States, and types in New York, NY and instantly a map pops up. She says the maps are colored like old European maps to make it clear and easy to read. Search is also integrated in the mapping technology. This is impressive. You can search for the Hilton, pharmacy, etc. But how do you get there? They have incorporated directions in to the mapping technology. You can get walking directions or driving directions from wherever you are at. Search will become a paradigm that will develop more into the future. There is a lot of information on our computers. Searching our desktops will be important. The one thing people are asking, is �Why can�t I search my computer like I can search Google?� You can now.

On the subject of communication, email is the #1 application on the internet. In Gmail, there is no classic way to create a folder, they want you do a search instead of create folders. Right..but why? Marissa goes into how threaded conversation was one of the ideas they had. Concluding she believes search will continue to grow and provide unbelievable opportunities for improving our lives and experiences.


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