Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Search Engines Future: Personalized Collaborative Shareable Search

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Prompted by the business prospect of a coming search market valued at $ 18 billion in the next five years (source: Safa Rashtcy - Piper Jaffray) and following the recent technology announcements in personalized collaborative search made by Yahoo (My Web 2.0) and Google (My Search History) a whole new type of search engine makes its debut today.

Like its more famous siblings this new technology focuses on the development of a new kind of search tool that takes into serious account personal and community preferences such as end-user ratings and classification, specific applications and use, and the fast growing need to re-use and distribute search results.

Headed by the experienced talent of search industry pioneer David Hayden (formerly with Magellan and Critical Path) JetEye is a new San Francisco-based company that launches today a unique new kind of search engine.


This new online search technology places you in the position of being the director/producer of your own search. You decide what is relevant and should be further tapped in the future, and what is not helping you find what you really need.

JetEye offers indeed a whole new metaphor for searching information while synergizing the power of the best traditional search engines with yours and the one of the people you work with and trust.

JetEye is a collaborative search engine that provides the end user with the means to direct and customize her searches while supporting (and here is the first major advance - think well about it) the management of search results and their distribution online through multiple pathways.


To achieve these results JetEye introduces a new type of virtual information object that it has named a Jetpak. This is essentially a self-contained collection of user-collected search results, resources and custom content that can be assembled with extreme ease.

But get this: Jetpacks are in turn immediately searchable, and as soon as they are made "public" by their creator, become "actual" content sources themselves, indexable and to be found in turn again by other major search engines.

Jetpacks allow end-users to comment, tag, and add extra resources including a) specific text-based content, b) links and c) images within any newly created Jetpack.

Jetpacks are also dynamic objects that can be further edited, updated and expanded by the original creator and if so desired by anyone else too. The search and information components embedded in them remain also open to change and updates as they fully reflect the updated status of the original sources included in them.

Jetpaks receiving the highest ratings from the Jeteye community are then placed at the top of their appropriate keyword search results.

Jeptpacks may usher also new and potentially interesting opportunities for advertisers who would find professionally aggregated Jetpacks to be super-powerful vehicles to host their messages. Obviously ads within Jetpacks would work wonders only if highly "in-tune" with the content focus of the Jetpack that hosts them.

What I think JetEye may consider improving in the future is the faulty insistence in creating a new "branded" vocabulary for concepts that many of us are just starting now to appreciate and fully digest.

Jetpacks, as a name, doesn't trigger any bell in anyone's brain, and given the level of innovation that this JetEye proposes, it only makes more difficult for the end user to wrap her mind around the concept requiring first-hand experimentation to make sense of what these things are.

As interface and information design are critical assets for any tool augmenting human capabilities when managing information bits JetEye needs yet to fully become aware of the distance that separates the potential uses of this tool, from what the present UI actually allows.

Notwithstanding JetEye significant contribution to a new vision for the future of search, I must also reckon that the interface solution adopted is yet very far from helping new users see, feel or even imagine the power that this new technology can provide.

The flow of traditional search task is intruded by a major UI component for which the new user has little or no understanding at the beginning. Understanding and investing on these ergonomic aspects of any new information management technology has been more critical to success as the quality and efficiency of the code behind it.

Given the small amount of time that early adopters and power users give to the testing and discovery of new tools, it is of the essence for any technology company launching an innovative solution like this, to best leverage user interface design in a way that picks up on existing user appreciation and familiarity with selected features, concepts, terminology and patterns, while innovating upon existing established players by bringing in an extra level of immersion, navigation comfort, and ease-of-use.

To its credit JetEye has already made available a plugin for FireFox allowing the unique JetEye features to be displayed in a separate control panel always accessible during your web navigation. (I have not been lucky enough to make it work yet, but can't say either what the problem really is yet).

Official Press Release.

Readers' Comments    
2005-08-24 07:39:16

Stanley A.Bowes

Robert Oppenheimer duped American scientist into aiding and abetting his politically motivated effort to sabotage our postwar nuclear programs.

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, August 23 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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