Attivio Takes on SCOLA Repository

March 16, 2017

We noticed that Attivio is back to enterprise search, and now uses the fetching catchphrase, “data dexterity company.” Their News page announces, “Attivio Chosen as Enterprise Search Platform for World’s Largest Repository of Foreign Language Media.” We’ve been keeping an eye on Attivio as it grows. With this press release, Attivio touts a large, recent feather in their cap—providing enterprise search services to SCOLA, a non-profit dedicated to helping different peoples around the world learn about each other. This tool enables SCOLA’s subscribers to find any content in any language, we’re told. The organization regards today’s information technology as crucial to their efforts. The write-up explains: 

SCOLA provides a wide range of online language learning services, including international TV programming, videos, radio, and newspapers in over 200 native languages, via a secure browser-based application. At 85 terabytes, it houses the largest repository of foreign language media in the world. With its users asking for an easier way to find and categorize this information, SCOLA chose Attivio Enterprise Search to act as the primary access point for information through the web portal. This enables users, including teachers and consumers, to enter a single keyword and find information across all formats, languages and geographical regions in a matter of seconds. After looking at several options, SCOLA chose Attivio Enterprise Search because of its multi-language support and ease of customization. ‘When you have 84,000 videos in 200 languages, trying to find the right content for a themed lesson is overwhelming,’ said Maggie Artus, project manager at SCOLA. ‘With the Attivio search function, the user only sees instant results. The behind-the-scenes processing complexity is completely hidden.’”

Attivia was founded in 2007, and is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. The company’s client roster includes prominent organizations like UBS, Cisco, Citi, and DARPA. They are also hiring for several positions as of this writing.

Cynthia Murrell, March 16, 2017

Creating a Product Taxonomy Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

February 16, 2017

The article on PRWeb titled WAND, Inc. Announces the Launch of the WAND eCommerce Taxonomy Portal discusses the breakthrough in classification technology from WAND. WAND Inc. is a Denver-based company that has been around since 1938 and holds a tight grip on industry vertical taxonomies, business taxonomies, and specialty domain taxonomies.

Users of the WAND eCommerce Taxonomy Portal can select from a content library of more than 44,000 hierarchical categories, 70,000 attributes, and over 260,000 attribute values to jump-start a taxonomy. Tools to customize the category hierarchy and attribute templates are simple to use and the pre-defined content can be augmented with new categories and attributes to efficiently build a custom taxonomy. The resulting custom product taxonomy can be exported into any common data format for import into product information management software or ecommerce platforms.

Perfect for retail, ecommerce, procurement, MDM, and manufacturing companies, the eCommerce Taxonomy Portal provides a foundation to build on, and averts the painstaking process of building classifications up from scratch. Mark Leher, WAND’s COO, is quoted in the article defining the web-based applications place in the master data management arena. He explains that it can be used to speed up taxonomy projects by empowering users to simply edit, rather than start from the very beginning.

Chelsea Kerwin, February 16, 2017

Chinese Censorship Agency Declares All News Online Must Be Verified

January 12, 2017

The heavy hand of Chinese censorship has just gotten heavier. The South China Morning Post reports, “All News Stories Must Be Verified, China’s Internet Censor Decrees as it Tightens Grip on Online Media.” The censorship agency now warns websites not to publish news without “proper verification.” Of course, to hear the government tell it, they just wants to cut down on fake news and false information. Reporter Choi Chi-yuk  writes:

The instruction, issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China, came only a few days after Xu Lin, formerly the deputy head of the organisation, replaced his boss, Lu Wei, as the top gatekeeper of Chinese internet affairs. Xu is regarded as one of President Xi Jinping’s key supporters.

The cyberspace watchdog said online media could not report any news taken from social media websites without approval. ‘All websites should bear the key responsibility to further streamline the course of reporting and publishing of news, and set up a sound internal monitoring mechanism among all mobile news portals [and the social media chat websites] Weibo or WeChat,’ Xinhua reported the directive as saying. ‘It is forbidden to use hearsay to create news or use conjecture and imagination to distort the facts,’ it said.

We’re told the central agency has directed regional offices to aggressively monitor content and “severely” punish those who post what they consider false news. They also insist that sources be named within posts. Apparently, several popular news portals have been rebuked under the policy, including,,, and

Cynthia Murrell, January 12, 2017

Infomania, the FOMO Struggles of Millennials

January 9, 2017

The article titled Drowning In a Sea of Information on Clayton d’Arnaut’s online magazine Digital Culturist questions the effect of unlimited information on the audience that can’t seem to stop looking for more. Like bears preparing for hibernation, we seek out connections, news, memes, ideas, and opinions. Perhaps we believe that if we “know” enough, we can never die. But what does it mean if all the information we search on Google, we take in, but then almost immediately discard? Decreased attention spans, concentration, chronic distraction, creativity, these are just a few of the symptoms of our maniacal dependence on information. The article concludes,

A few months ago I took part in Infomagical, an experiment hosted by the WNYC podcast Note to Self. The purpose of this experiment is “to turn all of your information portals into overload-fighting machines.” It worked. After a full week of information consumption challenges and monitoring my progression, I felt clear, focused, organized, and more creative. I felt like someone took my brain and wrung it out like a wet sponge?—?refreshed and ready to tackle the next thing.

This sort of cleanse might be difficult, but it might be necessary to prevent us from losing our minds, literally and figuratively, if d’Arnault is to be believed. I have, on occasion, closed a tab open to Facebook only to be confronted with another tab open to Facebook. Did I close that one immediately or check the second tab? An Infomanic never consumes and tells.

Chelsea Kerwin, January 9, 2017

Use Google on Itself to Search Your Personal Gmail Account

December 16, 2016

The article titled 9 Secret Google Search Tricks on Field Guide includes a shortcut to checking on your current and recent deliveries, your flight plans, and your hotels. Google provides this information by pulling keywords from your Gmail account inbox. Perhaps the best one for convenience is searching “my bills” and being reminded of upcoming payments. Of course, this won’t work for bills that you receive via snail mail. The article explains,

Google is your portal to everything out there on the World Wide Web…but also your portal to more and more of your personal stuff, from the location of your phone to the location of your Amazon delivery. If you’re signed into the Google search page, and you use other Google services, here are nine search tricks worth knowing. It probably goes without saying but just in case: only you can see these results.

Yes, search is getting easier. Trust Mother Google. She will hold all your information in her hand and you just need to ask for it. Other tricks include searching “I’ve lost my phone.” Google might not be Find My Iphone, but it can tell you the last place you had your phone, given that you phone was linked to your Google account. Hotels, Events, Photos, Google will have your back.

Chelsea Kerwin, December 16, 2016

Is Your Company a Data Management Leader or Laggard?

November 4, 2016

The article titled Companies are Falling Short in Data Management on IT ProPortal describes the obstacles facing many businesses when it comes to data management optimization. Why does this matter? The article states that big data analytics and the internet of things will combine to form an over $300 billion industry by 2020. Companies that fail to build up their capabilities will lose out—big. The article explains,

More than two thirds of data management leaders believe they have an effective data management strategy. They also believe they are approaching data cleansing and analytics the right way…The [SAS] report also says that approximately 10 per cent of companies it calls ‘laggards’, believe the same thing. The problem is – there are as many ‘laggards’, as there are leaders in the majority of industries, which leads SAS to a conclusion that ‘many companies are falling short in data management’.

In order to avoid this trend, company leaders must identify the obstacles impeding their path. A better focus on staff training and development is only possible after recognizing that a lack of internal skills is one of the most common issues. Additionally, companies must clearly define their data strategy and disseminate the vision among all levels of personnel.

Chelsea Kerwin,  November 4, 2016
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Wikipedia Grants Users Better Search

March 24, 2016

Wikipedia is the defacto encyclopedia to confirm fact from fiction, although academic circles shun its use (however, scholars do use it but never cite it).  Wikipedia does not usually make the news, unless it is tied to its fundraising campaign or Wikileaks releases sensitive information meant to remain confidential.  The Register tells us that Wikipedia makes the news for another reason, “Reluctant Wikipedia Lifts Lid On $2.5m Internet Search Engine Project.”  Wikipedia is better associated with the cataloging and dissemination of knowledge, but in order to use that knowledge it needs to be searched.

Perhaps that is why the Wikimedia Foundation is “doing a Google” and will be investing a Knight Foundation Grant into a search-related project.  The Wikimedia Foundation finally released information about the Knight Foundation Grant, dedicated to provide funds for companies invested in innovative solutions related to information, community, media, and engagement.

“The grant provides seed money for stage one of the Knowledge Engine, described as “a system for discovering reliable and trustworthy information on the Internet”. It’s all about search and federation. The discovery stage includes an exploration of prototypes of future versions of which are “open channels” rather than an encyclopedia, analysing the query-to-content path, and embedding the Wikipedia Knowledge Engine ‘via carriers and Original Equipment Manufacturers’.”

The discovery stage will last twelve months, ending in August 2016.  The biggest risk for the search project would be if Google or Yahoo decided to invest in something similar.

What is interesting is that former Wiki worker Jimmy Wales denied the Wikimedia Foundation was working on a search engine via the Knowledge Engine.  Wales has since left and Andreas Kolbe reported in a Wikipedia Signpost article that they are building a search engine and led to believe it would be to find information spread cross the Wikipedia portals, rather it is something much more powerful.

Here is what the actual grant is funding:

“To advance new models for finding information by supporting stage one development of the Knowledge Engine by Wikipedia, a system for discovering reliable and trustworthy public information on the Internet.”

It sounds like a search engine that provides true and verifiable search results, which is what academic scholars have been after for years!  Wow!  Wikipedia might actually be worth a citation now.


Whitney Grace, March 24, 2016
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Portals are Back, for All Devices through CMS

October 13, 2014

The article on Business Zone titled Enterprise Portals: Your Company’s Internal Business Card offers some tips on the perfect portal. That’s, right portals are back! The question is, will mobile users rely on them? The article suggests that the typically slow and overloaded portals need not be the rule for all portals. Due to their association with difficulty, many companies fail to spend the appropriate time and resources building clear and intuitive portals. The article states,

“Once the structure of the portal has been created, regular updating is key to avoiding clutter. In particular, platforms that have grown over time with little control or management, tend to get overcrowded with information quickly. It is essential to provide a positive user experience which is why regular audits and updates to the content are vital. Businesses should also make sure to have gatekeepers in place that control the amount and nature of content that is uploaded.”

Stressing the importance of relevance, the article puts forth the notion that a well-crafted enterprise portal can act as a “virtual colleague.” Using Content Management Systems (CMS) can help corporations allow for a portal use from a variety of devices. The automatic distribution of content to all devices could foreseeably be an excellent step in streamlining the output of up-to-date information.

Chelsea Kerwin, October 13, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

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