The call to action I sent out a couple of weeks ago has generated healthy interest.
One of the several people who responded is the CTO of one of Endeca’s competitors, whom I laud for understanding that the need to better articulate and communicate the technology of information access transcends competition among vendors. While we have differences on how to achieve this goal, I at least see hope from his responsiveness.
The rest were analysts representing some of the leading firms in the space. They not only expressed interest, but also contributed their own ideas on how to make this effort successful. Indeed, I met with two analysts this week to discuss next steps.
Here is where I see this going.
In order for any efforts to communicate the technology of information access to be effective, the forum has to establish credibility as a vendor-neutral and analyst-neutral forum. Ideally, that means having at least two major vendors and two major analysts on board. What we want to avoid is having only one major vendor or analyst, since that will create a reasonable perception of bias.
I’d also like to involve academics in information retrieval and library and information science. As one of the analysts suggested, we could reach out to the leading iSchools, who have expressed an open interest in engaging the broader community.
What I’d like to see come together is a forum, probably a one-day workshop, that brings together credible representatives from the vendor, analyst, and academic communities. With a critical mass of participants and enough diversity to assuage concerns of bias, we can start making good on this call to action.