Exclusive Interview with the Founder of Xyggy

January 25, 2011

Last year, I had an email exchange with Dinesh Vadhia, founder of the Xyggy search and content processing company. I did some poking around as did one of my colleagues. We were able to engage Mr. Vadhia in a lengthy conversation on January 20, 2011. In the course of that discussion he said:

Xyggy’s item-search is a new framework for IR based on how people learn concepts and generalize to new items. For instance, shown one or two apples for the first time you will thereafter be able to point to apples every time one crosses your path. The apple may appear as the fruit or in an image and yet we have the remarkable ability to absorb a small amount of information and generalize to new instances. The ability to learn concepts from examples and to generalize to new items is one of the cornerstones of intelligence….Xyggy’s item-search method is a new IR tool for solving the ‘findability’ problem. Without a new tool you only have conventional and well travelled paths to address the problem.

We found his approach and insights refreshing. You can read the full text of the interview with Mr. Vadhia on the ArnoldIT.com Web site in the Search Wizards Speak sub-site. SWS is the largest collection of first-person statements about search and content processing available without charge. Why pay crazy amounts for recycled pablum. Read what search developers themselves say about their methods and systems.

Stephen E Arnold, January 25, 2011

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Information Governance Solution from Autonomy

January 24, 2011

Those in a variety of sectors looking for a better information management solution should read the article “New IDOL Powered Autonomy Records Manager Ushers in New Era of Information Governance” detailing the features of Autonomy’s Record Manager. The product has modules for enterprise, legal, and government customers and includes auto-classification and cloud computing capabilities.

Chris Hathaway, director at local distributor Soarsoft Africa, touts Autonomy’s competitive advantage. “Manual records management tools are just no longer viable amid today’s complex information governance requirements, high volumes of information and the ever increasing intensity and pace of business operations. Autonomy Records Manager offers a solution to this challenge, using IDOL’s ability to automatically understand and apply policies to all forms of information,” he said.

Quality information governance can address a variety of challenges—cost effective e-Discovery, storage solutions, and privacy issues—in today’s complex information landscape. We believe Autonomy’s solution is a good approach in confronting these issues.

Christina Sheley, January 24, 2011

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For Your SharePoint Cubby

January 24, 2011

We’re tucking the following items in our SharePoint cubby:

First, see SharePoint FullTextSQLQuery index will not clear at Stackoverflow for a discussion of that issue. Apparently, the query index can fail to clear when you reset the crawled content.

Second is an article on the crucial issue of database recovery after receiving a the MOSS error “masterpage is invalid.” See whether this sounds familiar:

“Are you receiving the error ‘The URL ../../_catalogs/masterpage is invalid’ when you try to check out a page using SharePoint Designer?”

See this blog at blogspot.com for the solution.

Cynthia Murrell January 24, 2011

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Linguamatics Says, Keep Experimenting

January 24, 2011

Linguamatics, which produces natural language processing technology, has posted a blog entry titled “Trend Analysis- Can a Prediction be Made?” The answer depends on the mathematics and the definition of a “prediction.”

For its example, the blog compares the popularity of a couple of politicians during their debates, as recorded through Twitter, to their election results. Using their I2E text mining software to analyze the Tweets, Linguamatics found a strong correlation.

However, the blog is missing details needed to definitively answer their own question. How did they use their data to calculate probability? Furthermore, what other types of predictions could this process make, and how?

The company claims that:

“This case study shows how the power of using NLP with the I2E software platform can be used to gain quite powerful insights on what is likely to happen based on opinions expressed by people using social media platforms.”

I’m afraid I’d have to see more results before I can agree with that opinion.

To read more about the company on their website, go to www.linguamatics.com.

Cynthia Murrell January 22, 2011

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Bing Blanking MSN?

January 24, 2011

Uh-oh, Bing is in trouble! The company managed to alienate its MSN partners. Ad Week has the article, “Bing Annoys MSN Partners,” which highlights where the Google rival has gone wrong. Microsoft is dedicated to fledging search engine, but its hurting their bank account.

“The portal’s sales staff has been irked for some time by Microsoft posting myriad links to Bing on the home page rather than to MSN properties, the New York Post reported. And more recently, several high-profile MSN partners are feeling shafted by Bing hogging prime real estate on the MSN home page.”

MSN states that Bing is hurting them and they want Microsoft to reevaluate their investment in the digital real estate hog. Microsoft still plans to move forward with their pet project, but it might cause them to lose business partners. I wonder if those staff meetings are friendly?

Whitney Grace, January 24, 2011

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Google: Very Right or Very Wrong

January 24, 2011

I remember the US history lesson about the Missouri Compromise. In grade school or the Calvert Course lesson about the “Great Compromiser,” I marveled at a Kentucky farmer who could find the middle way. I later learned that despite the talk about compromising and dealing with “shades of gray”, compromise is not exactly what most folks or companies aim to do.

I had a publisher who wanted me to write a book by a specific target date right after I had what my doctor described as a “heart event.” I was not too peppy, and I had other things on my mind that the publisher’s need to generate cash for his struggling business. There was no compromise for me. I wanted to take care of myself, and I don’t think the Great Compromiser or any business school baloney would have changed my mind. I am still in business and reasonably energetic for a 66 year old goose. The publisher? Well, not on a par with my business I fear.

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Now what about the Three Amigos, the Digital Triumvirate, and the the less elevated groups of leaders, pundits, and film stars. Don’t honk that horn, please. I learned in the midst of a client report that the Digital Triumvirate at Google is still intact. Now one member of the Triumvirate has been elevated, not quite to Caesar’s status, but close. Other two remain at relatively lower levels, but one of the two who did not get promoted is now the top dog. If that strikes you as sort of anti-Triumvirate, you are not alone. I think we have a pecking order of sorts, with one of the three given the role of chief executive.

The Guardian, a UK publishing outfit with an affection for open source, described Google’s new CEO, Larry Page, as “intense.” I find that an interesting description of a person who has not been in the spotlight in my opinion. Yep, he is Silicon Valley royalty, but he might not be noticed as a Hollywood B list party.

Sergey Brin, the other founder of Google, is still in his original spot. So the way I see the reorganization is that the two founders elevated the “adult in charge”. The two founders appear to be content with the new set up. A $100 million “atta boy” for Eric Schmidt , the elevated member of the Triumvirate has 100 million more reasons to be happy as a Googler.

Management ballet aside, I think there is a clear signal that Google has taken steps to get the company back on track.

The view I have held since I wrote Google Version 2.0: The Calculating Predator is that Google tried to move beyond search and pretty much has accomplished that objective. Unfortunately, the company still has one revenue stream. I don’t count video ads and online ads as diversification. In the algebra of the addled goose, the revenue is advertising revenue. So after “discovering” the Overture/Yahoo model, Google has not been able to craft another derivative, let alone original, revenue stream that comes close to its advertising business.

The pivot year for me was 2006. What’s happened since that time?

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Smart Business after the 2008 Implosion!

January 23, 2011

Is analytics everything these days?  “10 Insights: A First Look At The New Intelligent Enterprise Survey” tells of the results of a MIT SMR/IBM global survey of executives who were asked about their use of information and analytics in management goals and practices.

Notable quote:

“Executives named ‘innovating to achieve competitive differentiation’ their top business challenge, significantly ahead of runners-up ‘growing revenue,’ ‘reducing costs’ and ‘acquiring customers.’ Top performing companies put an even higher premium on innovation than lower performers did.”

Hmmm. The economy has been the worst since the Great Depression, and increasing income and decreasing expenses rank way below innovation.  Does this mean the economic crisis is really over or that companies simply recognize the power of setting themselves apart and above?

When there’s blood in the streets, buy property.  Some other themes of the survey were the importance of company culture over technology, the need for someone to manage analytics at the central enterprise level like a “chief analytics officer,” methods for making information tangible, and the importance of analytics in every type of industry.

The real question can’t be answered by a survey, which is: Are companies smart enough to accomplish these goals?

Alice Wasielewski, January 23, 2011

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Facebook: User-Centric Model

January 23, 2011

Allowing individuals to friend barely recognizable high school classmates and give scintillating updates on fetching lattes has garnered Facebook over 650 million global users and $1.86 billion in advertising revenue for 2010 says the recent Advertising Age article “Facebook Books $1.86B in Advertising; Muscles In on Google’s Turf”. eMarketer estimates that a majority of sales come from small- and medium-size companies making use of Facebook’s self-service system—territory that earned Google more than $200 billion in the last decade.

“Those advertisers are really juicing Facebook’s growth,” said Debra Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer. “They buy advertising in bulk. They’ve done it for years on Google, and now they’re taking that expertise to Facebook.”

More surprising is Facebook isn’t pandering to big brand advertisers to rack up revenue but continuing to focus on developing consumer-centric products that attract users. This makes us question whether this type of advertising opportunity is better than Google’s options. If Facebook remains attractive to advertisers and can up their response rate, they will pass Google’s benchmark.

Christina Sheley, January 23, 2011

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SEO Tricks for Search Revealed

January 23, 2011

We thought the concept for search was objective results that meet the user’s query. Guess not.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of gaming the search systems to increase traffic. Commercial websites want to be at the top of the results.

Search engine administrators distinguish between SEO practices which are fair and those which are a nuisance. The article “Concept of Search Engine Optimization for Web Site Marketing” elaborates:

“SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design, and those techniques of which search engines do not approve. The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the latter, among them spamdexing. Some industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either white hat SEO, or black hat SEO.”

Search engines can penalize black hat sites by weakening their rankings or simply blocking them.

Black hats often use deception to elevate their ranking. No wonder the results on public Web search services are sometimes wacky.

Cynthia Murrell January 23, 2011

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Lexalytics and Salience

January 22, 2011

Salience is the newest refined text analysis engine to come out of  Lexalytics. Salience can process any sort of English language text and can be integrated into an already present system in order to analyze business intelligence, reputation management, customer satisfaction and more. You can get more information at this Web page.

One of the strengths of the Lexalytics’ Salience Engine is how open the engine is to adjustment. A deep and comprehensive data directory exists to tune various features of the engine and tweak text analytics processing to get the best out of your specific content.”

Salience has the ability to analyze the entire blogosphere for trends in records and is flexible enough to solve new problems as they arise.

Leslie Radcliff, January 23, 2011

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