Recently I came across a mention of a new “search thing” which I found interesting. It’s an application called Rewind that allows you to “Find anything you’ve seen, said, or heard”.
I say it’s interesting, because of the relatable experience of putting a Product Search Engine for WooCommerce out there that provides tremendous value to its users. On the other hand, an app that records everything on your screen, everything that is being said, all the time … might raise at least some concerns.
While you will hail the promise that this data will be kept locally and analyzed locally and “No cloud integration or IT required”, the concept of an everything-recorder might raise a huge red flag in your mind. Think about infringements on your privacy or the revelation of your trade secrets. Even if such an app keeps its promise, other apps that have access to your data might not behave so confidentially.
Anyhow, search engines and the notion of search are interesting from many angles and always will be.
Ask and Thou shalt receive
Search is a bit like a cup … the search itself occupies time (as the cup occupies space) … whereas the value of the search resides in it ending (as the value of the cup is where the cup is not).
Whether your search provides the desired result or not, at least you want it to finish as quickly as possible.
Jump back in time to the 20th century for a moment. Professionals would often rely on so-called business registers, where you would be able to locate a company and the products it made or the services it offered. You would get those for certain regions or even covering world-wide registers with companies from all over the world. Heavy printed volumes would allow you to browse and search, occupying immense amounts of your time. Towards the end of the century, you could get those registries on CDs, with their own search engine and things were quite a bit faster. Those registries were doomed into obsolescence with the growing adoption of the Internet. Businesses would make the information about their products and services available online and widely open to the public.
Fast-forward to a couple of decades later … with the immense amounts of data that are available, the tools to find information are often overwhelmed, as soon as there are thousands of data points. But it’s not only the data points that are difficult to handle because of their sheer volume, it’s the relations between data points that make things really interesting.
Thus the notion of metadata gained importance, data that describes data and allows to discover data that is more relevant to what we seek.
The easier and quicker it is to find something in a pool of data, the more valuable the search engine is. Simply because it saves you time. If what it yields is also relevant to your query, it can make a huge difference.
No comments yet.