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Search Innovations (Demo 2004 Series

Search Innovations (Demo 2004 Series - 2) - Two interesting Seach products were showcased: Grokker 2 from Groxis and p-Zoom from Big On The Net. They were both variations of a similar idea, with very different visual interfaces.

The core idea is to take the results of a search engine of some kind, and cluster and organize them to make them more understandable. Not a new idea, and in fact, there have been several products who have done this, none of which I can remember right off. Both Grokker and p-Zoom seem to work but in my view they don 't do enough in an effective enough way to be worth recommending.

In fact let me again my all-time favorite search utility, X-1 from IdeaLab. Now that's a beautifully executed , and supremely useful search utility. It focuses more on searching of what's in my own world (files, emails, etc.) which Groxis does but p-Zoom does not. I recommend it highly.

Two more editorial comments.

Grokker has a visually very pretty user interface employing a graphical device which we started calling the "circles-inside-other- circles " UI which I believe they invented. The interesting thing is that there were two other totally different products which seemed to have copied the idea and were using a very similar visual device.

Secondly, the notion of searching what 's in my personal space - files, emails, contacts, appointments, etc. (which both X1 and Grokker do) is an amazingly useful capability which certainly belongs in the operating system. And Microsoft has on several occasions incorporated this into Windows. In fact it seems like there's some elaborate technology for search built into Windows XP. But for some reason it's one of those things (like Collaboration) which Microsoft just never gets right. I wonder why.

New BlogBridge Web Site and other changes

Happy Valentines Day. As you can see, there is a new web site design. This one was created by a designer in China. I just thought I wanted something a little more professional. As for the software, there are several new developments. We are diving into the questions of unread handling. This is leading to new designs in several areas: there is now a BlogBridge Preferences dialog. Included here will be settings allowing Articles to be automatically set to unread under certain conditions. Also there will be some changes required in the low level persistence handling to track unread.

Pecking order? Puleeze! Joi Ito

Pecking order? Puleeze!Joi Ito writes with apparent confusion about the a comment from Russel Beattie who commented that: "but boy it seemed like there were some serious pecking orders there." (via Jeremy Zawodny.) While Russel's comment is about ETech, a conference I am really sorry I had to miss, it certainly doesn 't surprise me, as it shouldn't surprise Joi or others.

In fact I am always amused and bemused (what's the difference?) at the highly structured set of social behaviors are exhibited at conferences such as ETech (but equally at Agenda, PC Forum, Demo and I am sure all the others.) I am sure it is in evidence wherever human beings gather: academia, the US congress, high school and on and on and on. It's kind of funny if people didn't take it so seriously.

Without spending too much time on it, see if you recognize any of these dances: the "I pretend not to notice the fact that you are trying to get a word in edgewise and just keep on talking." or the "You turn to face the person you are focusing on (the higher peckee) and actually turn your back to the one you are trying to ignore (the lower peckee - or is it pecker?)" or how about the "Wait here while I go refill my drink, (and never return.)." Some day I should write an article!

Echo Chamber, redux: Are we

Echo Chamber, redux: Are we wasting our valuable brain cells duplicating each other's work? There was an excellent and thought provoking presentation by Dave Sifry of Technorati fame at the ETech Forum. I wish I was there.

Well, here are four (4) different first hand reports of the same talk: David Weinberger, Joi Ito, Doc Searls, Dan Gillmor, and I am sure there were others.

I wonder how many people were in the audience. In fact we can start computing the BQ (Blog Quotient) for meatspace events, the proportion of an audience which is blogging. As it approaches one , you have to wonder.

Yes, I guess we get different perspectives of the same event, but is there enough attention in the universe to pay?

IMHO: I started and stopped

IMHO: I started and stopped writing this two days ago, mostly because I didn't feel like I knew any of the people or issues involved well enough to have the right to a meaningful opinion, not to mention that I would be seens as sucking up(people are so quick to judge - but what the hell, here goes…)

But I just feel like I must post a brief note of support and agreement with what Doc and Jon wrote about the recent bit of mean-spirited writing about RSS and its history, both on public blogs and private newsgroups. I wasn't there but Dave Winer was and I am willing to take him at his word. But you know what, I think that's ancient history. So for the record : theres no doubt in my mind that Dave deserves credit and respect for the totally central role he played and continues to play in the blog phenomenon. Count me as a fan.

I wholeheartedly agree with what Doc wrote: "There's so much left to do. Let's stop making it harder than it already is." Life is too short.

Did you know how closely

Did you know how closely you were being watched by your TIVO? A by-product of the Janet Jackson flap, was that Tivo announced through a press release that they registered the biggest blip of from their network at the instant of the famous reveal. Count me in - I did a bunch of Replay's to see if I had really seen what I thought I had seen. Who cares?

But the big surprise is that Tivo somehow is collecting that information at that granular level - literally what buttons I am pushing on the remote? Big Brother! I guess the second, smaller surprise, is that Tivo is so proud of this that they needed to put it into a press release.