Monday, October 03, 2005

Scoble Wants Better Query Refinement - What about this?

Scoble and Danny are having quite a rant about "The Perfect Search Engine" and one of the things that they want is better query refinement.

Robert Scoble Wants What We Had -- Better Query Refinement. So Do I!


One of the things that Danny points out is that search engines used to be better in the early days when companies like Ask Jeeves and MSN employed editors to help people find what they want and to help people further refine their search queries.

The reason all of the major players stopped is because hiring people is expensive. Well, here is an idea. Why not turn anyone into an editor? That is the direction we have decided to take with BlinkList. On BlinkList, anyone can submit links today and tag them (identify them with keywords, queries). Do we have to stop there? No, you will shortly see what we mean...

As we start to aggregate the knowledge of domain experts, I suspect we might be able to offer some pretty clever query refinements and a whole new way to discover content online. Already we offer an intuitive tag cloud that helps people refine their query. If you are looking for "Ajax" for example, type in "Ajax" into BlinkList and you will see a tag cloud of the most related tags (queries) to help you drill deeper.

Can an active community of users create the human touch search engines are missing? We hope so. One other benefit of leveraging a community is that we might be able to do all of this without incurring the costs that Ask Jeeves and MSN had to absorb because we have a community of volunteers and a community that is using BlinkList for their own self interest, to discover more interesting, relevant content, andn to have a place to access ad retrieve it quickly.

Time will tell if we can execute against this vision but so far we are very excited and optimistic about the future potential.

Mike

PS: By the way, give us another week and then you will start to see some major improvements that will give you a good glimpse of what we are talking about. We hope we will be taking a big step to creating a new kind of "Personal Discovery Engine" for the Internet.

Blink It

7 Comments:

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Combine Blinklist tags with an individuals historical searches and this would be very powerful new search method. Take a look at Search as a dialog and personalized search blog entry at Geeking with Greg from Findory

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