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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Changing Web, PubSub : Retrospective Search Vs Prospective Search

John Battelle while covering PubSub writes, Bob Wyman, CTO and founder of views traditional search as searching the "GrayWeb" - that part of the web which is available and open, but is rarely seen because our view of the web is so dependent on traditional approaches to search. Wyman focuses on that portion of the GrayWeb that changes rapidly - the "ChangingWeb" where the future hits the present, where the unique element of the dataset is the fact of its newness. That window - when the information is knowable, but before it becomes forever eternalized in The Index - is where PubSub lives. PubSub crawls (mostly) blog feeds and offers a service that allows you to stay abreast of topics you choose as new information breaks. PubSub is named for "publish/subscribe" - a well traveled piece of IT theory that has, at its core, the assumption of structured data. Wyman claims to have figured out algorithms which allow PubSub to process the ChangingWeb rapidly and "at internet scale" matching at Internet Scale (i.e. 3 billion matches per second is the current benchmark number)
He plans to create tools that allows bloggers to easily tag their posts with category like information.He's already built plug ins for Word Press and is looking to continue his work with other platforms like MT, which have similar widgets that so far are not aligned around a particular standard. It's yet another attempt to build the semantic web from the bottom up, and it suffers from all the foibles of such an effort, but the intent is good - let the individual publishers build data structures which, in aggregate, create a fuzzy kind of value that developers can tap into. Services might evolve which are built on the premise of freely available data -, a new kind of publishing model, where value comes from what you do with the data, as opposed to who owns access to the data. This would be a big change - eBay, Monster, Yahoo, et al are all based on the idea of owning the environment in which structured data lives.
Greg Linden, founder and CEO of Findory, wrote this comment to Battelle's piece on PubSub:The information overload problem looms large for these types of alert systems. Grappling with this problem isn't trivial. Current solutions require people to manually construct queries that only return manageable amounts of interesting and useful information, a laborious task that will frustrate most mainstream users. Future solutions will need to learn what information you want and construct the filters automatically, personalizing the information stream for your individual needs.
Fred Wilson,commenting on this writes,(I totally agree with his comment)the companies that are working specifically on the The Changing Web that come to one’s mind are PubSub, Findory, Topix, Feedster, Technorati, and delicious. RSS, search, tagging, web 2.0, and peer economies are all coming together to make "The Changing Web" more important, more accessible, and more monetizable. Peer economies, or the architecture of participation, or is going to play a big role in harnessing The Changing Web for commercial applications.Indeed changin web and integration of mobile search technologies would be among the next few key things in the search market.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"