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4 posts from December 2010

December 21, 2010

A New Kind of Search Experience

Qwiki For a while, we've talked about the ways we think enterprise search can - and likely will - improve in the future. We're big fans of conversational search, a search experience currently implemented with facets and 'related links' technologies that draw the user into an interaction with the human... finding becomes an exploration, not a single-shot event.

We've talked to companies that wanted to create search results that look more like a newsletter or a data sheet and less like the output from 'DIR' or 'ls -l'. Well, this week I've been introduced to a new kind of search experience created by Qwiki.

Currently available by invitation only, Qwiki provides information and a search experience that you can watch. The material on Qwiki is machine generated, and then vetted by humans, presumably a team working at - or for - Qwiki.

My guess is Qwiki starts by federating material from trusted public sources.. I'd imagine they start by scraping content on Wikipedia and other useful information sites. They gather images, videos and text, which is read to you by a computer generated voice that sounds much like SAL 9000 in 2010, the sequel to '2001: A Space Odyssey'.

In a nice video from TechCrunch 2010, Doug Imbruce of Qwiki calls the service 'information and experience I can watch'. I think this could end up being an interested enterprise technology as more and more companies build terabytes of HD video content.


December 10, 2010

SPTech February 7-9 2011

SPTCCA2011_150x57 December is sometimes a tough month to get much business done unless you're an eCommerce company. Nonetheless, 2011 will be here soon, and a hectic January may keep you from noticing a really great SharePoint conference in February: SPTechCon. It's the largest independent SharePoint conference, the kind where the Kool-Aid is just a refreshing beverage.

The early-bird registration that can save a few bucks from your professional development budget ends next Friday, December 17. It's not an easy three days: sessions start at 8:30AM and end at - or after - 5PM. There is time to meet with vendors and with other attendees, but it's certainly a conference you attend to work. The program (yes, which includes yours truly as a speaker), lists more than 100 workshops and classes, and you'll surely find them educational and professionally valuable.

Since you asked, my session is 'Which SharePoint search is Right for You'. With Microsoft and SharePoint, you have four or five choices in search technology to use just from Microsoft. Throw in a couple of other search products that work well with SharePoint and you've got the potential for some serious confusion. Come by the event, tell me that 'Dr Search sent me' and let's talk about your concerns one-on-one after the Wednesday 8:30AM (sunrise) session.

So while you're enjoying some quiet time leading up to the holidays, get out and register today! See you in February!




Microsoft Search Partners blog is a little behind the times

You can't talk yourself out of something you behaved yourself into.

It's a simple truth that applies to kids, employees, bosses and vendors - even pets (you animal lovers will understand)

So when I finally had time to browse blogs I like to follow, one of the ones I opened was the Microsoft Enterprise Search Partners blog. When they acquired FAST, Microsoft jumped into enterprise search with both feet. They finally had a real solution to the problem, and they were happy to have a cadre of skilled partners who knew search. Hey, they even started a blog!

I know it's tough to keep up--to-date when you write a bog, especially for a small company. Trust me, I know: keeping up to date on writing blogs, tweeting, running a company, writing a book AND managing a couple of intense projects is tough. I'm always in awe of big companies like Google and Microsoft with large staffs to handle the important corporate communications.

So when I finally went back to the Microsoft Enterprise Search Partners blog, imagine my surprise when I discovered that the most recent entry there was from April 16 2010 - nearly 9 months ago! The article - 'Calling all Partners!' - talks about the 'terrific momentum' in the program. Working overtime - right up to the layoffs.

So I have to ask: which is it? Are search partners (and enterprise search) important to Microsoft? Or was it an urgent problem in SharePoint that, now solved, can be pushed to the back burner? Microsoft, come on: restart the blog.. or let it die.





December 05, 2010

Share your successes at ESS East next May

ESSSpringLogo Our friends over at InfoToday who run the successful Enterprise Search Summit conferences have asked us  to announce that the date for submitting papers to their Spring show in New York in May 2011 has been extended until Wednesday, December 8. You can find out what they are looking for and how to submit your proposal online at http://www.enterprisesearchsummit.com/Spring2011/CallForSpeakers.aspx.

Michelle Manafy, who runs the program again next May, really likes to have speakers who have found creative and successful ways to select, deploy, or manage ongoing enterprise search operations. We've co-presented with several of our customers in the past, and trust me, it's great fun and not bad for your career! And - no promises - the weather at ESS East has been great for just about every year - and we've been there for nearly 6 years now!

A friend told me something years ago that I've always fond helpful; I hope you'll take it to heart: 'Everything you know, someone else needs to know'. Don't worry if your search project isn't perfect; or worry that someone will find fault with what you've done. Trust me: there are many organizations newer to enterprise search than you are, and anything you found helpful will sure be valuable for them as well. And you get to attend al of the sessions, so you might learn more as well! A 'win-win' situation if I've ever seen one!

See you in New York!