Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Frontiers To Computer Search!

Google provides the public with a glance into how it is improving search: "A peek into our search factory". Breaking through search limits is, of course, a worthy goal.

Increasing the amount/types of accessible data, enhancing user input, and improving search retrieval algorithms should result in a continuous improvement of search result pages.
However… there may be a few limits to creating a perfect search engine:
  • Some media types are probably totally inaccessible. For example: human memory. Billions of folks are walking around with enormous amounts of valuable, but unsearchable, human memory. It will be quite some time into the future before Google can search human memory.
  • Some media types are partially inaccessible. For example: proprietary intellectual property, geophysical and space data, and the contents of an incoming foreign cargo ship.
  • Some search results may be nearly impossible to achieve because of search algorithm limits. For example: searching for a cure to AIDS.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Connecting Members And Excluding Nonmembers

Google's Friend Connect is a plug-and-play mashup of Web site hubs with social networking features, gadgets, and apps. 

Visitors who sign in to a Web site get to network along the theme of the Web site - for instance sharing guacamole recipes, or mountain bike maps.

Web masters are supposed to benefit by attracting new visitors as members bring along their dozens or hundreds of friends from their social networks.

Google provides some easy to use social gadgets that are described here: http://www.google.com/friendconnect/home/moreinfo
  • Sign-in with their existing Google, Yahoo, AIM, or OpenID account
  • Invite and show activity to existing friends from social networks such as Facebook, Google Talk, hi5, orkut, Plaxo, and more
  • Browse member profiles across social networks
  • Connect with new friends on your site
According to Google "The key gadget is the members gadget".

Although membership can enhance the connection of friends to a Web site, it can also exclude those visitors on the outside who do not want to become Web site members.

Probably, the number of Web site members, including all of their social networking friends, will usually be much, much smaller than the number of Web site visitors who do not want to sign in to become a member.

The problem: If a Web site offers their rich content only after member sign-in, won't that limit the total number of useful visitors to a Web site?

Will Friend Connect be a layer that actually excludes?