Searching the Net

Went to see Tom Clark at the Sun Library stand, who was demonstrating "Grokker" (released by Groxis (nice favicon)), a search visualisation package that the library staff have put in front of some of their collections. He ran a couple of queries which just showed how lazy "page rank" has made us. It presents its findings in a series of concetric circlesGroxis Visual Query. We discussed the fact that colour and size should be significant, otherwise, its pretty much an explorer hierarchy using encapsulated circles, rather than the expanding/contracting explorer. Its quite dramatic but I am sure it'll take some time to get used to it. Some stuff can be saved onto your own disk such as queries and bookmarks. The conversation drifted onto taxonomy and Tom stated that Sun Library had been working on building one, but had stopped. He said he'd try and dig it out and send it to me. I have a lot of sympathy with the blog correspondent who stated that good taxonomies were too expensive to be worth it, and I don't know if this is original but they age. {e.g. The meaning of HA (as in high availability) has changed over the last eight years and the way we describe today what HA described eight years ago is very different.}

These days you can't discuss Information Management taxonomies without discussing Technorati's tags so we spent a couple of minutes doing that. Tom had had the opportunity to look at a complete list of tags, which is not available online, but maybe available if one licences the technorati SDK. Obviously the complete tag list is also defined by the community (together with spelling mistakes, internationalisation and the plural problem). I'd best tag this article now. (You'll also notice (or not) that I have given up on the spelling of Datacentre for tagging, so not only does meaning change over time, but in English, internationalisation changes both spelling & meaning.) It'll be interesting to see what the librarians have to say on the taxonomy issue, since they ought to be pretty expert.

We 'grokked' a query on Julian May, the pseudonym for Julia Majewski, author of "Saga of the Exiles", who I know from previous google based research does not have a large internet presence (other than the online bookstores flogging her books). The google query finds the fan sites more rapidly and grokker does not really organise the adverts well. It did find some blogs I hadn't found before (and can't find in Google), which I hadn't found before. I'll need to spend some more time on this.

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