For me, 2009 marked the end of a decade-long run at Endeca, where I focused on bringing HCIR to enterprises. I’m particularly proud of two professional accomplishments: writing a book on faceted search, and organizing the SIGIR 2009 Industry Track.
But past is prologue. I spent the last several weeks of 2009 as a Noogler, and I launch into 2010 living and breathing search on the open web.
What’s on my mind? Here are some top-of-mind questions to which I hope to have better answers by this time next year:
- Exploratory Search: how should we determine that users want a more exploratory search experience, rather than one that minimizes time to a best-effort result? How should we respond to queries that clearly don’t have a single best answers, such as queries of the form [category] or [category location]?
- Mobile Search: should it be just like non-mobile search with a few tweaks to accommodate the device form factor? Or does / should mobile search fundamentally change the way we interact with information?
- Real-Time Search: is it more than real-time indexing plus emphasizing recency as a query-independent relevance factor? What are the use cases, and how should we be addressing them?
- Social / Collaborative Search: should we be looking to microblogging or other social media signals to augment (or even supplant!) link-based citations as authority cues? Should we be supporting mediated search by linking people to people, rather than directly to information?
- Transparency: is it possible to offer more transparency in relevance ranking without losing ground in the battle against spam and black-hat SEO?
To be clear, these are simply the questions that are on my mind–I’m speaking as an individual and not as a Google employee. That said, a great thing about being at Google is that there are people working on all of these areas. So I expect 2010 to be an exciting year!
Curious to hear what problems are on other people’s minds as we enter the new year. Comment away!