Technorati: Indexing the Web in Real Time

One of my favorite sites the last few months is Technorati.

Here’s part of the reason why:

For example, the blogosphere often “lights up” with respect to a particular topic (e.g., the President’s National Guard scandal, rollout of the iPod mini at MacWorld Expo, etc.) in response to a recent article or news report.

That is, many bloggers start “conversing” about the topic in response to the breaking of the news in the mainstream media.

Not only does the present invention enable tracking of these conversations, it also enables the identification of individuals who were talking about the topic before release of the news.

As will be understood, the ability to identify such “conversation starters” or influencers relating to particular topics is extremely valuable from a number of perspectives.

Continue reading Technorati: Indexing the Web in Real Time

Making Search More Efficient: A little about caching and prefetching

I hate doing the very same task over, and over, and over again. I’d bet search engines do, too.

Increasing the efficiency of search

Chances are that your choice of search engine, whether it’s Google, or Yahoo!, or MSN, or another, uses some methods to try to make what they do a little more efficient, and a little less costly to run.

Of course, popular searches are ones that lots of folks search for. If a search engine would process every search request as if it were a new one, and try to grab results from its index, or indexes, including searches that were repeated often, it could be reinventing the wheel frequently. But what if there was a way to speed that up?

What if that method created a significant savings in terms of time and processing power? What if it didn’t do a full search for the most popular terms over and over?

Caching results pages from popular searches

Continue reading Making Search More Efficient: A little about caching and prefetching

Saw it on the web

I’ve been running into a number of interesting, amusing, fun, and entertaining articles lately, and wanted to share some of them.

I’m finding myself in agreement with Jeff Jarvis, when he makes the following statement about Tagging at BuzzMachine. Interesting thought for companies like Google that want to organize the world’s information.

The web is about connections and the value that arises from them if you enable people to collect and communicate. In the old, big, centralised, controlled world of media, a few people with a few tools – pencils, presses and Dewey decimals – thought they could organise the world and its content. But as it turns out, left to its own devices, the world is often better at organising itself.

Speaking of Tagging, Gene Smith has a very nice recap of The Year in Tagging.

Barry Welford’s post at BPWrap on the Internet and the Enigma Machine had me thinking for days, and strangely (maybe not so strangely) wanting to reread Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon.

Continue reading Saw it on the web

Early Yahoo! Acquisitions (the 1990s)

I wanted to learn more about the history of Yahoo!, and made a post about Yahoo!’s Acquisitions Since Overture a week ago. I promised that I would followup with an additional post covering the remaining purchases.

I guess you should be careful about undertaking an inquiry like this.

The more I uncover, the more I find to write about.

Yahoo!’s earliest days saw them entering into partnerships and joint ventures with a number of companies.

At some point, Yahoo! started buying some of the companies that it worked with instead of working with those companies. There are a number of different reasons why, and some interesting stories behind some of those.

Continue reading Early Yahoo! Acquisitions (the 1990s)

Google Improving Mobile Search

Making it easier to make entries on a mobile device

As smart phones, and web-connected PDAs become more and more common, it makes sense for search engines to consider how to make it easier for people to use those devices while searching the web.

Handheld and mobile devices can be difficult to enter queries into.

Google has come up with some ideas to make searching easier on a phone or PDA.

They involve a type of auto complete and spell checker that can predict what you might enter before you finish typing, or tapping, or speaking.

This type of predictive data entry gets its information from dictionaries that can be stored locally, or remotely. Those dictionaries can be built using information from a collection of email, or corporate documents, or from web searches.

Continue reading Google Improving Mobile Search applies for patent on advertising

Trying to quickly understand how well an online advertising campaign is doing is important.

There are a lot of factors to look at, to make sure that it is working, and a lot of methods to use to test those ads.

A patent application from describes one method they are using:

Systems and methods of achieving optimal advertising
United States Patent Application 20050289005
Inventors: John B. Ferber, Scott Ferber, Mark Hrycay, and Robert Luenberger
Published December 29, 2005
Filed: May 18, 2005


A system and method for achieving optimal advertising is disclosed.

Continue reading applies for patent on advertising

People helping People

With my first post of the new year, I decided that I would point out a site that captured my imagination earlier this evening:

Favorville is an “social experiment in Good Will.”

I’m hoping that spirit of reaching out, and helping others when they need it will be something we see a lot of in 2006.

Happy New Year. I hope that it is a good one to you.