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Search Engine Scoop

The search engine gurus—Chris Sherman, Greg Notess, and Ran Hock—gave us updates this morning on what’s happening, what to watch, and some inside scoop. In the process, there were also some quotable lines I thought worthy to share here.

Chris covered current trends, like local search, personalization, collaborative search, and desktop search. We’re “sorta” seeing the return of push, he said. “RSS is huge. It will completely change the way we interact with information.” I was happy to hear that we’ll soon be able to get search alerts from Google and Yahoo sent via RSS rather than e-mail. One cool thing both he and Ran mentioned was using Yahoo IM to search the Web collaboratively—this has interesting reference and elearning possibilities.

Ran talked up the capabilities in MyYahoo, including RSS feed aggregation, document storage, calendaring, and more. Unfortunately, he said that a problem for both Google and Yahoo is that most users just click on the search button and don’t take advantage of all the good content and good features. There’s a lot of copying of features among the competitors. Ran said: “To see what Google may have in 6 months, look at Google Labs. To see what Google may have in 1 to 2 years, look at Yahoo.”

Greg covered some of the quirky results currently seen in Google Print and gave some tips on how to find things. “Finding books is really messy.” Greg will cover this in his column in the May issue of ONLINE.

Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief
Information Today, Inc.

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