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You might find this interesting:

Personalized search (2002). James Pitkow, Hinrich Sch├╝tze, Todd Cass, Rob Cooley, Don Turnbull, Andy Edmonds, Eytan Adar, Thomas Breuel. Communications of the ACM, 45(9). http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/567498.567526

The assets of the PARC spinoff from which this technology was developed was acquired by Google.


cool application for the new joint effort. i think Google is probably learning a lot about its possibilities from the free advice on the net right now.

i went to a talk by Eric Schmidt (google's CEO) today and his sole comment on the merger was "we hope to help them out." his point of view was just that his tool (Google) would be more useful if the content it searched (the rest of the net, including weblogs) was better. what a nice guy (and company).

Ted Weinstein

Steve -

Yes, it would be great if Google would offer the ability for me to search for results only on pages I have already visited. But they always had this capability via the cookie they (try to) place.

The issues keeping them from implementing such functionality already have probably been:
1 - competition to existing portals/customers (although they are obviously evolving to compete with their current portal customers in many other ways)
2 - data storage burden (keeping the database of every Google users's surfing behavior would require massive amounts of storage)
3 - privacy issues, as well as vulnerability to governmental demands that they release data on individual users' surfing habits in many legal situations.

But to get back to my original point: didn't Google already have the TECHNICAL capability to offer personalized Web indexes before they bought Blogger?


Rikard Linde

I made a mockup for something similar a couple of years ago. Check it out if you're interested.

Hmm... my intention was not to make this sound like a besserwisser comment but somehow it did.
Anyway, it's an idea that deserves to be implemented.



if you haven't read it already, you might want to take a look at Cory Doctorow's article on O'Reilly...

My Blog, My Outboard Brain

Ernie Schell

Even though it doesn't track page visits automatically, BackFlip offers a good bit of the functionality you are talking about. I'd be interested in your opinion of what BackFlip does (www.backflip.com).

Dave Seidel

Sorry, I think your article is based on a faulty premise. See my weblog for a (slightly) more extensive comment: http://radio.weblogs.com/0100130/2003/03/07.html#a159



Read your Emerging Technology April 2003 on how e-mails can help identify a karass. Really enjoyed it.


Rikard Linde

Actually, if I had used this tool before writing the last post I would have known that the mockup was created last year and not "a few years ago". So at least one person will become less ignorant if they make a tool like this:-)

Rikard Linde

Oh and thanks for the interesting read Steven. There aren't many people writing about this aspect of network technology in such a clear and "user-friendly" way. Thank you.


What you described in the Slate article sounds a lot like the history file kept by your browser.

Apologies for the self-link, but I've posted some additional commentary: http://www.atomiq.org/archives/000553.html




In my opinion this deal is not about improving search results or helping anybody out. It is simply about broadening the base for Google Adwords and improving the way to match ads with appropriate content. If Google is successful in that this would potentially help many content based business models to become financially viable again.

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    • I'm a father of three boys, husband of one wife, and author of eight books, and co-founder of three web sites. We spend most of the year in Marin County, California though I'm on the road a lot giving talks. (You can see the full story here.) Personal correspondence should go to sbeej68 at gmail dot com. If you're interested in having me speak at an event, drop a line to Wesley Neff at the Leigh Bureau (WesN at Leighbureau dot com.)

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