Thursday, June 19, 2003

Seek and ye shall find...

Just read Tim Bray on searching, where he says only Librarians use advanced search, and that most users want one "natural language" search box. This is all very well, but it doesn't always mean that users will get the results they want - the thing about searching (and finding) is that your results are only as good (or precise) as the question you ask. For most of us, vaguely defined queries get satisfactory results (or at least "satisficing" results) - if we follow information foraging theories this is because the value/effort pay-off is enough.

Anyway, I dream about our intranet search engine working - we can't enhance it with a thesaurus or fuzzy matching or best bets or anything else, because it rarely works. My colleague, Rik, is dreaming of getting "googled". At the moment, I think we are "googlied".

No comments: