One of the great things about blogging is that its public nature helps keep me honest. For all that I talk about “give to get,” I could do a bit more of it myself. One way I’d like to try is by adding a new category of posts called Blogs I Read to talk about other blogs that appeal to me and, I hope, to readers here at The Noisy Channel.
To inaugurate this series, I’m starting with Jeff’s Search Engine Caffe, published by Jeff Dalton. Jeff is a grad student in the PhD program at UMass Amherst’s Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval. He’s a bit more practically minded than your average PhD student in information retrieval, perhaps owing to his previous experience as a software engineer at Globalspec, where he worked on vertical search for engineering and manufacturing.
It’s thanks to Jeff that I’m blogging in the first place. I first met Jeff at SIGIR 2006 in Seattle, but it was at ECIR 2008 in Glasgow that he persuaded me to start a blog. Moreover, his advertising my blog on his own was a critical factor in helping me build up a critical mass of readers.
But I hardly need gratitude as a pretext to read Jeff’s blog. Jeff does a great job of keeping up with happenings in information retrieval, particulary those that span academia and industry like Yahoo BOSS and developments in blog search.
I know that graduate students aren’t exactly encouraged to blog, since the currency of the realm is peer-reviewed publication. But I hope that Jeff keeps up blogging as a way to share his ideas with a broader audience.