The Future of Real-time Search

Album Cover: Diamond Hoo Ha

"I got to get you in my suitcase."
Supergrass / Diamond Hoo Ha Man

Posted on July 29, 2009 11:42 PM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

A post at the SiteCrafting Blog tonight got me thinking about real-time search and how it might evolve in the not-so-distant future.

I think real-time search is an awesome and potentially powerful thing. The first time I saw FriendFeed's real-time search implementation, I was blown away unlike I have ever been by any run-of-the-mill search engine's results. That being said, real-time search is still pretty dumb at the moment. If I search Twitter for Gran Turismo 5, for example, I just get a cluttered list of tweets that has a whole lot of redundancy in it, and absolutely no way to filter out (or even reduce) the noise.

As with just about anything else that involves data, the key to the future of real-time search is metadata. In the future, real-time search won't be as dumb because I will be able to tell FriendFeed, Twitter, Google or whoever else happens to be leading the real-time search game that I want to see results filtered in a multitude of ways that make the results much more interesting. For example, I may say that I only care about tweets (or some other form of real-time thought or the expression thereof) coming from people with over 100 followers/subscribers. I may decide that only tweets from females are relevant for the topic at hand. Or maybe all females within 25 miles of Granville, Kansas. Or, if because misery loves company, I decide I want to see tweets from all of those Seattleites suffering this current heat wave with me, I should be able to limit my results to the people in my local area.

Truth be told, none of this is sophisticated prediction. To me, it's just the obvious path that real-time search will have to take in order to become increasingly useful and less of a novelty. What's even better is that there are already major players in the game who understand what an opportunity real-time search presents, and their bigger and better minds will surely extend the possibilities far beyond the only incremental improvements I've covered here.

Or at least that's the hope.

Comments

Zim on July 30, 2009 at 4:46 AM:

It's really interesting to read about trending subjects like real-time search.
And, by the way, I finally learned what is metadata (I never knew what it was exactly till I read that link today!).

Everything is going in this direction now. Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed... This plus the AR applications coming to iPhones and similar devices open the gate to a huge new world of projects and progress...

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oxjbxrrk on May 15, 2017 at 5:23 AM:

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