Saturday, March 04, 2006

Connectedness in Social Networks

Over the past few years there are signs of widely agreed model for how information can best be connected, managed, and displayed. The umbrella name for this effort is the Semantic Web. There's an original Roadmap document by Tim Berners-Lee here, and a more recent Introduction here.
After many years in the wilderness there are now a few commercial products that show the power of this approach. I am shamelessly prepared to state that the company I am currently working for, Entopia, offers best-of-breed solutions in this space. It is very gratifying to hear prospective customers ask us if our demonstrations are "real" - because the results truly seem like magic! (see "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic")

Which reminds me - now that I've seen the semantic web I really hate keywords... More on this below.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Love and Hate on the Web

You may have wondered - which is stronger "love" or "hate". At least in terms of Search engines the jury is very much IN and the results are clear - L-O-V-E triumphs by a significant margin. If you'd like to try this for yourself you can save some time (perhaps as much a 0.5 seconds) if you search both Google and Yahoo simultaneously using the new Frankestein site GahooYoogle.

The bottom-line here (please God let there be some point to this rant) is that "keywords" can be pretty darned misleading when used to navigate large document set. Let's be honest here - a BILLION results! Really what's the point? Even if you were so inclined you'd never get through them in a lifetime.

Even more upsetting though is that within the top-10 results for "hate" we find "Stop the Hate" which, under the premise of our test, should surely be in the "love" column. There's got to be a better way - and there is! It's called the semantic web.

Don't settle for half measures - let's make these great information resources add up to something intelligent other than just a massive stack of keyword results.