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Humanizing Search

Search is evolving at a dizzying pace and the newest innovations have taken a decidedly human turn. In a new piece by Josh McHugh for Wired, one of the big brains at Yahoo!, Bradly Horowitz, discusses Media RSS and how metadata provided by niche content creators facilitates search indexing for video and audio. Don't get me wrong. Mountains of resources are still devoted to the recognition paradigm, but the fact that Yahoo!, Google and AOL have embraced MRSS and social tagging signals a new phase for search and new opportunities for marketers of niche programming to take advantage of long tail economics. 

"Google's original stroke of genius was figuring out how to piggyback on human judgment by following the links people make between Web sites. Horowitz is borrowing functionality from two Yahoo! properties to develop something similar for video. The Yahoo! Music collaborative filtering engine uses a scoring system to match listeners with the recommendations of like-minded music fans. Members of Flickr attach tags, or social bookmarks, to photos they see on the site, imbuing the pictures with mental associations that might never make sense to a computer. By combining the tagging and recommendation function into video search, Horowitz is hoping for a Google-esque breakthrough." (Read more from Wired).

The convergence of social bookmarks and recommender engines is morphing search from lists and rankings based on relevancy, to "dynamic objects" based on social networks, community participation and folksonomy.

Another indication of this trend is the launch of JetEye, a new collaborative search engine that leverages personal categorization of content and overlapping social understandings for search results. From Robin Good:

"[JetEye] provides the end user with the means to direct and customize her searches while supporting...the management of search results and their distribution online through multiple pathways... Jetpacks allow end-users to comment, tag, and add extra resources including a) specific text-based content, b) links and c) images within any newly created Jetpack... Jetpacks are also dynamic objects that can be further edited, updated and expanded by the original creator and if so desired by anyone else too. The search and information components embedded in them remain also open to change and updates as they fully reflect the updated status of the original sources included in them."

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August 25, 2005 | Permalink

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