04 June 2006

Search-engines on the Tree of Life

one class of stories
all web-surfers partake of

is searching for info

and the usual startingpoint
is google or another search-engine

and one or more typed-in query-strings

which should eventually lead to
the info sought

many searchers may pursue the same info
perhaps by different routes

or related info

which could all be aggregated into a FAQ

with the best search-engine
then being defined
as the one that leads you quickest
to the proper FAQ

is filling the FAQ-role
for ever-increasing numbers of queries

but their policy unfortunately
still eschews
extensive linking of
available web resources

which to my way of thinking
is the natural successor to
google-style page-hit-lists

for example

i held off researching
snapshot indexing-schemes
while i was formulating my
heraldic barcode approach

because past experience suggested
the available web resources
would be more frustrating and confusing
than enlightening

but this morning
i felt i'd progressed enough
to dip a toe into google

trying various combos of
snapshot photographs
ontology classifying metadata etc

and sorely regretting that wikipedia
doesn't yet have
an annotated history on this topic

because what i got was all dead ends

not a single proposal that overlapped mine

which doesn't remotely imply
that these don't exist

only that keyword search is inefficient
for tracking them down

one especially frustrating thing
is that google still doesn't
give any hint of the document types
of the page-hits

article or abstract
project proposal or specific ontology

and this topic is especially messy
because academics are busy poisoning the well
generating clouds of ink
meant to create an illusion of expertise

instead of humbly acknowledging
that the hardest question, as always
involves indexing human behavior...