January 16, 2006

Search Tech Opportunities- Summary

Posted in innovate this!, Innovation at 8:28 pm by scottmaxwell

This is a summary of my series on Opening up the Search Tech Chain. The major point is that opening up the search technology model will have some great effects on all of the possible innovations around the model. The post the opening of the search tech chain discusses my argument for the opening up of the tech value chain and links to some other bloggers thoughts and resources on OpenSearch and the opening of the Alexa A9 search engine platform for others to innovate on.

Just so that I am clear on the abundance of innovation opportunities related to search, I have several posts that describe some opportunities for innovators. The ideas overall can be applied to text, images, audio, or video, each of which has its own issues and opportunities.
The posts:

  1. Every site needs to expose its APIs. Open APIs would be a huge opportunity to improve search, even with today’s search technologies.
  2. Lots of innovation potential in micropayments. While the ecosystem could get started without a micropayments infrastructure, these issues will need to get worked out.
  3. Mashups will be a lot more interesting with the new APIs. In my view, the mashups for the end users are the most exciting innovations (but probably not the most difficult). I lay out my thoughts on the potential for mashups in this post.
  4. Help me find what I am looking for. The matching of search intent to search results works okay today, but there are lots of improvement opportunities.
  5. Some thoughts on improving tagging. The social tagging sites have changed my use of the internet in tremendous ways. I point out some of the improvements to the tagging that I would like to see in this post.
  6. Put more features in feature vectors. We need to move beyond exact word search into many new approaches to finding what we are looking for. The posts start getting a little more technical here with the ideas on creating and exposing larger feature vectors.
  7. Machine Learning as a Web Service. Machine learning is one of developments on the internet that will change things dramatically for the users (and will offer some great economic results to the winners). This post outlines some thoughts on how it might be achieved as a web service.
  8. Machine Extraction. Finally, turning unstructured unlinked data into structured and linked data is unbelieveably difficult but very powerful stuff. This post gives an example and outlines some other rough thoughts on the topic.

I am sure that I have missed lots of opportunities for innovation in search, but this list is still very long and hopefully demonstrates the point that there is a lot to do! If I have any other ideas worth posting, I will post them and link to them here. Please also comment if there are other ideas or resources that are valuable to this list.

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1 Comment »

  1. Ying Xie said,

    It’s good to see a summary like this. I just put together easyutil.com, a web service that makes recommendations based on what other people like. Nothing grand, but hopefully it’ll be useful to people and see some good use. If you would give me some feedback I’d much appreciate it.


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