I have been thinking about several basic issues in what is commonly called search technology. The way data sources, types, and (spatio-temporal) nature of data is changing, if the technology continues to address search problem, then we are all going to be in trouble. The days when we needed search technology were the last few years and now we are rapidly entering an era when searching for information will not make any sense. What will be needed is prospecting of data and information in a timely manner. Prospecting is very different from searching. You search for a restaurant; you prospect for gold. Search is a good technology to have and we will always need it, but the demands of the data will necessitate prospecting technology.
This is an interesting topic, but a complex one. It needs good in-depth discussion. I will address some of these thoughts soon – I did present some of the early thoughts here in pieces. Later I put together all those thoughts at one place, edited them and made it into a ¡®white paper¡¯. I consider this white paper to be an early draft of some of my half-baked thoughts and want to convert it into a more polished version that I could share with people. I did want to have a reality check on my ideas and with that goal I did send the white paper to several friends. And I did get some valuable comments that I will incorporate in this paper to prepare the next version sometime soon – maybe in a few weeks. Yes, the topic needs some serious thinking. ( If you want to read the white paper in its current form, please send me a mail at email@example.com)
An interesting thing happened, however. John Gehl was interested in interviewing me for ACM Ubiquity after my article on experiential computing. The interview was delayed due to my health. We decided to have the interview in late August. I sent the white paper to him also. It turned out that the interview was focused on next generation search experience rather than the broader issues in experiential computing. And I was satisfied with that because this was the topic currently on my mind. The interview came out very well. John made it interesting. The interview is available at
I received many very good comments on this interview. Rajesh Jain, a
dedicated entrepreneur from India (who became an icon after the success
of IndiaWorld.com) pointed out that it was even covered by
John Battelle (http://battellemedia.com/archives/000913.php ).
Rajesh covered it on his own blog also.
What I find interesting are two things. Really very interesting.
First, the importance of paper publications is becoming less
significant compared to appearance of ideas or articles in cyberspace.
None of my articles that appeared in very well respected journals
got attention of relevant people so rapidly.
In fact, in most cases publication in a respected paper was more
for my own satisfaction because by the time some other researchers
followed it, I had forgotten about my work.
I am convinced that this is clearly the direction for ideas propagation
Equally important is the fact that the mechanism of blogs is bringing
a new approach to the Web. It is changing the model how information
get propagated very fast and to relevant people. Considering that
this is a new field – popular only in this century – I am amazed how
well it works. But really that is not why I am intrigued by blogs
and associated infrastructure. Sensor nets are becoming quite common
and are likely to be the next big thing everywhere, in society,
on the web, and in all kind of applications. I see some interesting
similarity in blogs infrastructure and in sensor nets that will lead
to eventweb -- the current web is a document web.
I will address this issue next time I have concrete (enough) thoughts
to share with people.