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Oct 01, 2001: Need an ISP/Smarter Search/Marc Rettig

Bloug Needs an ISP

I've been asked by more than a few Blougies: "Why no permalinks? Why no RSS?" My stock answer: "Not until I get GreyMatter installed (yes, I'm still rolling my own HTML). And no GreyMatter until I find a professional and reasonably-priced ISP to host it."

Unfortunately, I'm not sufficiently technical to evaluate ISPs or install GreyMatter myself. So it occurred to me today that perhaps a reputable ISP exists that already has GreyMatter up and running. Do you know of one, and would you recommend it? Or have other advice? I could really use the help. My undying love and gratitude (and a signed polar bear book) to the successful matchmaker.

Even More on Smarter Search

Paul Kahn kicked Teoma's tires. And it was Good.

There are lots of Paul Kahns out there, and, like Google, Teoma's search results mixes them all up. But Paul found the clustered results "by topic" a good differentiator between him and his pale imitators. Paul writes "...the other Paul Kahns have disappeared from the results in the folders. They did not seem to make an impression on the BY TOPIC algorithm, even though Paul Kahn the musician has his own record and a music production company (I know this because we both used to live in the same town -- Medford Mass. -- and he had an unlisted phone number, so I used to get irate calls from club owners at 9 pm on Saturday nights when the act did not show up). I was surprised not to see a folder called Music."

Hopefully the irate calls have stopped. Anyway, it's not surprising that Paul liked Teoma's categories; he's probably the best-represented Paul Kahn on the Web, so those clusters are determined more by his content than the other PKs out there. Hmmm... Maybe not so good if you were looking for some other Paul Kahn. And it's unlikely, but what would happen if multiple Paul Kahns work in the same general domain?

Meanwhile, UC Berkeley's Marti Hearst pointed me to a tutorial she did at SIGIR: "Designing Information Architecture for Search". Way too much interesting stuff to go into here, but she covers a lot of fascinating issues, including faceted classification, berry-picking, and, of course, search results presentation.

Marc Rettig's Latest

Marc, former CXO of HannaHodge and Very Smart Person, is teaching a seven-week course on user-centered web design. Marc is positioning his course as an in-between offering that's "designed to combine the depth and intellectual stance of a university course with the accessibility and practical bias of a conference tutorial." The course starts next week in Chicago, and space is limited, so get going...

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