Entries from March 2009

Was this review helpful to you?

March 17th, 2009 · Comments Off on Was this review helpful to you? · Uncategorized

Usability guru Jared Spool has a great piece explaining a single feature he calls “The Magic Behind Amazon’s 2.7 Billion Dollar Question“: the fact that they ask user “”Was this review helpful to you?”. It’s a great story about the power of good design.

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Why Are People So Clueless About Search?

March 17th, 2009 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

Yes, that’s a provocative title. But check out this far more provocative statement by Emil Protalinski in an Ars Technica article entitled “Why Microsoft continues with search: it’s still not solved“: What Microsoft is saying here is that everyone should be able to find what they are looking for on their first attempt, every time. […]

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Law vs. The Pursuit of Truth?

March 17th, 2009 · 5 Comments · General

I’ve always bristled at the legal principle, at least in the United States, that a judge has absolute power to decide what evidence is admissible in a trial. I recognize how this power is can prevent abuse by prosecutors or other government officials (cf. 4th amendment, 5th amendment). I also realize that judges are supposed […]

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Precision and Recall

March 17th, 2009 · 7 Comments · General

This month’s issue of IEEE Computer is a special issue featuring information seeking support systems, edited by Gary Marchionini and Ryen White. You can read their introduction for free here; unfortunately, the articles, while available online, are only free for IEEE Xplore subscribers. What I can share is a 500-word sidebar I wrote that appears […]

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Why Buy The Cow When You Can Hear It Moo For Free?

March 17th, 2009 · 3 Comments · General

The NPD Group, a market research firm specializing in the entertainment industry, reported that in 2008, compared to 2007: The number of Internet users paying for digital music increased to 36 million from 28 million. Purchases of online digital music downloads increased by 29 percent and now account for a third of all music tracks […]

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

Search green, green, green!

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Least Publishable Unit

March 16th, 2009 · 9 Comments · General

In academic publishing, there is a concept known as theĀ  least publishable unit (LPU). As per the Wikipedia entry, an LPU is “the smallest amount of information that can generate a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.” Until recently, I thought the concept was unique to academia. But today I read a post by TIME White […]

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Is Anyone Attending the Information Architecture Summit?

March 16th, 2009 · Comments Off on Is Anyone Attending the Information Architecture Summit? · Uncategorized

I just noticed a post by Peter Morville today about a flex track session he’s trying to organize at the IA Summit this week to discuss challenges and brainstorm about the relationship between practice and research in information architecture. I’m not attending the summit myself, but if anyone here is, I hope they’ll participate and […]

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Kosmix: I’m Impressed

March 15th, 2009 · 10 Comments · General

One of the recurring objections to exploratory search is that it can’t work for the web. For example, some folks at Microsoft Research presented a poster at HCIR ’08 explaining what they see as daunting challenges to implement faceted search for the web. I’ve often plugged Duck Duck Go as an successful example of exploratory […]

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Blog + Twitter vs. Aardvark: A Rematch

March 15th, 2009 · 17 Comments · General

It’s clear that my blog + Twitter vs. Aardvark challenge yesterday wasn’t much of a challenge, so I’m trying again. This time, I believe the questions are much harder. And, for what it’s worth, I don’t know the answers to any of them. I’m posting them all to Aardvark and here on The Noisy Channel […]

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