Home > Archive >  2009 >  July >  26

Two-way Search

Sunday, July 26, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named adjusted.gifWhen I started DaveNet in 1994 I had a bunch of ideas for products that I hoped one day to develop. But I had been waiting so long -- it was becoming apparent that I would never get to develop them. So I wrote emails about them, and sent them to all the people I knew from various industry events. What came back often were ideas that built on them. And eventually some of the products did get built. So the idea of dumping ideas publicly, ones that aren't doing you any good, is solid. Permalink to this paragraph

In that spirit, here's another -- I call it Two-way Search. Permalink to this paragraph

Here's the idea -- if the search engine knew a little about me, it could give more relevant answers. But it's too much trouble to enter demographic info, and I might not want to share that with the search engine company. But... There's a single piece of data that unlocks a vast trove of preference information -- the address of my weblog. From that it would be obvious that I live in the Bay Area and am involved in tech. So when I ask about New York style pizza, you might include places in Berkeley in the search results. When I search for a driver, I'm probably not looking for someone who drives a car. It goes on and on. Permalink to this paragraph

I call it two-way because like most things that show up on the Internet, at first search was a one-way thing. I ask questions, the search engine provides answers. By using information on my weblog to provide context, now data flows both ways. Permalink to this paragraph

BTW, it's conceivable that Google knows where my blog is, but I don't think they incorporate that knowledge in search results. Permalink to this paragraph

PS: Of course this is the solution to the Suggested Users List problem as well, if the new user has a blog. You don't need to know anything but the address of the blog to make intelligent non-random recommendations of people to follow. For one, you'd know what language the user speaks, so you wouldn't recommend 20 English-speaking celebs if they only know Portuguese. For example. Permalink to this paragraph

PPS: I thought the idea was so good I bought the domain. A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

   Recent stories

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


Dave Winer Mailto icon

© Copyright 1994-2009 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 7/26/2009; 8:55:29 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.