Monday, July 30, 2007

Swickis and Buzzclouds are not Pokemon

Of course as soon as you describe one relatively new term, you are sure to find an evolved version of it. Just as one post below talks of Tag Clouds, search technology has expanded into specialized visual cues to how relevant search results are, creating a resulting Buzzcloud. And though a Charmander may evolve into a Charizard, these terms do not come from a special edition Pokemon deck, but are part of the expanding lexicon of the web.

As with many web based technologies, I ran across an example through the use of this site. There were a number of referral based visits to my "Simpsonize Me" post that were coming from a Swicki based search engine.

Here is the “buzzcloud” based on the search results and subsequent community ratings of those results on being simpsonized.

So my next question was of course, what is a Swicki.

According to the Eurekster’s site, it is a search engine that automatically learns from your community. Another description was that “Swickis are a cross between search engines and Wikipedia - the community can add, delete and improve the results.” The one, two, three of it is to create a search “that learns from your users, delivering results “uniquely relevant and tagged for your community, which results in a Buzzcloud of “searches your users care about.

Read/WriteWeb wrote about a number of search agents, and included a fair amount of information on this one.

“Eurekster's Swicki competes admirably as a search agent. Once again, you start off by creating your own search engine. You select the topics, you choose the sites you wish to include and you pick among common search terms that you believe would be of interest to your users. After that, your new Swicki takes on a life of its own. Your users can vote results up and down, and you have the ability to completely delete entries from the result page. Ideally, in a short amount of time this will create a "perfect" results page, geared towards your users.”

It goes on to mention that a critical mass of community is required for it to work effectively, which is true with many online entities from game worlds to shopping sites to anything that exists through consumer generated media.

Search and data are the magic elements of the web, and as that data expands geometrically, managing, retrieving, filtering and applying the data will evolve as well. Perhaps even into a Level 60 IntelliSaur or an InfoZard.

Eurekster is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with Research & Development located in Christchurch, New Zealand. The company was founded in 2004 by digital media and search technology veterans Steven Marder, who is CEO and Grant Ryan, who is Chief Scientist. They claim a global reach in over 13 countries and list as their customers branded sites, social networks, top blogs and blog platforms.

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