Category Archives: search

information retrieval, desktop search, personalized search, text analysis, search engines

All about Zipf's Law

As you may know, George Kingsley Zipf was obsessed with a rank-ordered world. The law named after him has a number of uses beyond even what his grandiose, universal plans were, so read all about it: information on zipf’s law.

Trivia note: originally Zipf’s work was based on some ideas from Condon (which GKZ acknowledged), way back in 1928, but Zipf’s name won out over time.

How to Leverage Solipsism @ SXSW

If you’re going to be at SXSW, come by and ask a good question while we talk about the good, the bad and the worse about
social computing systems design and use

Here’s the blurb:

Room 18A on Sunday, March 13th from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Monolithic, overarching imposed systems rarely provide full support for the range of use and users that these systems are intended to serve. Networked software should be smarter, taking advantage of users’ behaviors to evolve a system keenly adapted to actual use, not just intent. We are currently in a special moment, witnessing the development of systems that are beginning to demonstrate the power of this approach. Whether it is through passive tracking, such as purchase histories on Amazon, or explicit tagging of content, such as bookmarks on and photos on Flickr, websites are increasingly taking advantage of the aggregation of individual behavior to improve the utility, usability and desirability of their systems. Drawing on a range of perspectives, this session will address the intersection of the personal and global, the tensions that exist and the opportunities they afford.