Monthly Archives: September 2006

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Internet Librarian 2006

Looks like I’ll be attending this year’s Internet Librarian on Monday, October 23. I’m only going one day this year, and chose the day when Gary Price, Chris Sherman, and Greg Notess will be presenting.

See you there!

Tagging Video Segments

Are there any online video sites where users can tag specific segments within videos? Imagine how powerful that would be. Like chapters on DVDs.

For example, someone uploads a half hour video to Youtube or Yahoo Video or wherever. It’s about their trip to San Diego and is tagged “san diego”, “zoo”, “petco park,” etc. Now say I’m looking for video footage of Petco Park because I’ve never been there and want to see what it looks like. I find this video and instead of having to look through a half hour of footage I can jump directly to the bit from Petco Park because that segment is tagged.

Search UI

When I first started at Y! I told one of the search team’s senior managers that the biggest changes we’d see in the next year would be in the UI. That was a year and a half ago and not much has changed I’m sorry to say. I was remembering this because of Danny Sullivan’s article Why Search Sucks & You Won’t Fix It The Way You Think.

When a major engine with its own index introduce a new UI, that’ll be compelling. Maybe one of the major engines could introduce an alternative interface on a different URL. Oh wait, AlltheWeb Livesearch is Yahoo’s version of that, and there is Google Suggest. But these aren’t really changing the results pages so much as improving user interaction with the query box.

The problem is that every single pixel on the GYM results pages is so ridiculously valuable that to change anything is a major undertaking. The other problem is that a search results page is all things to all people. The current UI, a text-based list of results, may not be the ultimate experience, but in general it works. You asked a large-scale information system a question and you got a list of document summaries from its corpus.

I’ve spent lots of time playing around with visual search engines like Kartoo, Clusty, Musicplasma, Mooter, and others. But although I wrote reviews of all those engines, the truth is I only use Yahoo search and I never use visual engines. Those visual engines are cool and I respect what they’re trying to do, but they just haven’t clicked with me yet.

Ask also launches TV campaign

I was watching prime time network TV last night and an Ask.com commercial came on. It was very straightforward; it showed various quotes from journalists about how good Ask is, each simply displayed in white lettering on a red background. Then the commercial closed by showing Ask’s search box. It wasn’t trying to be clever or funny, it was very straightforward.

New Yahoo! TV Ads

Check out the new Yahoo! ads that will be running soon on TV. They’re silly and funny.

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