Stuff I've Seen (SIS) in the Future of Search

Apr 27, 2005 - 2:09 pm 2 by

You will be the search agent crawling the web for the search engine. You will be able to index what you see when you see it, from email to video to webpage. Search will go beyond the query box and into your personal space, it will be shaped along with you, and not against you. Search engines are heavily looking to the future of search this year and deciding to make give you a bigger part in how you search the web. In At a very interesting thread at SEW, Orion posts on a presentation from MSN's research specialist Susan Dumais that explores the new technology Stuff I've Seen (SIS) and its implications for personal information management and as they put it "Helping finders become keepers." I am particularly excited about this new technology, more so than I would have imagined, as I see it really changing the way we use the web in the future.

Orion mentions that while the idea of this is not new, the technology to make this happen was always a barrier, but today that is not the case. Nacho theorizes that what we are seeing in science, technology, and marketing today will one day make our industry more important than television. Another member Xan comments that the researcher from MSN never believed in the idea of a semantic web and that such ideas were nonsense and impractical in the way for which we "want" to use search, not the way we will be told to use search in the future. I explore the area from the ability for search engines to index anything and everything, with the inate ability to index as we see something. Personally I find this as an intrusion, and would not want a search engine to index everything I see. Additionally I question how as marketers this new technology could have a impact on us. Since personalization and integration of this will take such a course in many directions, will there be any common reference points we can share with others?

Ms. Dumais presentation goes on to talk about search today, and how there are many information silos that can be indexed in order to grab documents. However doing this can be slow. She talks about how you might have the option of opening up your massive digital libraries to the world, or just for yourself so you can search them easier. One of the barriers mentioned is that as information libraries grow, it will become harder and harder to locate documents within them. Her presentation provides examples of SIS in use, and the current testing that is underway with a group of 3000 people. Not surprisingly, 76% who use SIS technology are using it to find email, with about 14% looking for web pages, and a good majority of people looking for documents over a month ago. There are some interesting implications for this technology such as the intregration with TV programming, and the ability to index even things watched on right then and there. Imagine going back and searching through a TV documentary you watched over the last year. Or going as far as a not to distant reality for marketers to say "target only women age 25-35 on a query for "chocolates" during february days." Pretty cool.

Continued discussion on Stuff I've Seen at SEW


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