CIL2009: A Super Searcher Shares 25 Search Thoughts

Speaker: Mary Ellen Bates

links are at

  • online magazine rack
  • she’s comparing alltop to early yahoo, just add rss!
  • rss aggregator
  • built by “2 guys and a gal”
  • highly selective, well-done

Think about how you can use this in your own organization…

  • visualization and clustering and metasearch…
  • one of those silly swirly visual search thingies (not a fan)
  • claims it’s more immersive feeling
  • You eventually DO get text
  • gives you a choice – viaual, clustered, text, etc… good.

  • adds lexical variants
  • on the fly, you can get:
  • synonym suggestions
  • singular/plural
  • translate terms into other languages
  • does clustering, but only in German
  • interface a bit squirrely

  • a way to skim across web 2.0
  • query example – she did a GTD search…
  • ok. sort of a metasearch for 2.0-ish sites like blogpulse, youtube, twitter, technorati, etc

  • clustering on demand
  • with a choice of sorting algorithms
  • and a choice of search engines
  • cool graphic display
  • looks like the old northern lights search engine! With the folder clustering thing
  • but allows you to choose HOW you want to cluster

  • add prefer:word to query
  • ranks these search results higher
  • a cool way to change the relevance ranking – doesn’t narrow the search

awesome highlighter

  • highlight text on a page
  • saves a copy of the page with a new URL
  • then you can direct others to that page with the highlighted text

textrunner search

  • looks for assertions
  • information mining
  • ex: what kills bacteria in google – lots of stuff. In textrunner, it looks for a sentence with an answer.
  • so it’s looking at the web in a different way. It’s looking at sentence structure instead of focusing on different words

Google Translate

  • translates text into other languages
  • shows text side by side
  • so you drop in search results, it translates your words into words in other languages, then shows the results side by side

Twitter Venn

  • compare frequency of words in twitter
  • generates venn diagram
  • visual way to see this

  • searches all wikipedia articles
  • does a more visual search of it
  • it structures the wikipedia article in a more user-friendly way
  • gives a tag cloud for similar articles
  • lists out recommended articles
  • gives a visual mindmap display of related stuff


  • another visual thing
  • it’s doing clustering

  • federated search (she sped through this one)


  • a tutorial
  • learn to love social media
  • can you:
  • ID the most popular blogs on a topic
  • rank the blog posts
  • eliminate content overload
  • check out the hotness of each post
  • etc
  • Cool – I’ll have to find this and pass it around

How to build a social media cheat sheet for any topic

  • also from readwriteweb

Legal Research Engines

  • cornell law library
  • google custom search engines
  • searches legal stuff


  • aggregated the front pages of newspapers around the world
  • [me – hee. this won’t last much longer]


  • makes a visual tag cloud from text
  • good way to visually see the underlying message or tone of soemthing you read

Google’s search wiki

  • you can comment on search results
  • you can move things around
  • it’s public – your annotations, anyway
  • you can customize your search of google…


  • skipped it


  • it automatically clusters and starts asking you questions


  • looks at wikipedia
  • it’s a sense-making search engine
  • does clustering, looks for sentences similar to your search

  • beta search engine
  • lets you weight your search results
  • looks like a search/tag cloud – you can change the weights visually by changing the weight of the font. Nice.

get conference buzz

  • bloggers live blog, live tweet, etc
  • So check those things out – technorati, google blog search, twitter search, etc

Google audio indexing

  • speech to text indexing

Google Maps Mashups

  • very interesting map mashups!