I've written separately about a pair of services for discovering InfoWorld articles: power search and tag explorer. Now they're deployed on an InfoWorld server as iws (search) and iwx (explorer). We haven't tied these into the InfoWorld site yet, but that'll likely happen soon. Meanwhile I want to test the waters by announcing these services here and inviting feedback. (I'll just assume that email sent to that link is publishable here.)
These services work in tandem. The search component, iws, mashes up the results of our Ultraseek search engine, exploiting three streams of metadata: structured document titles, del.icio.us tags, and the introductory parts (decks and leads) of each article. Clicking on any tag takes you out of search mode and into the mode of tag navigation, or exploration, or what Matt McAlister has called pivoting on tags. There you click around to explore the sets of articles associated with combinations of tags and other metadata. The search box takes you back to search mode.
It was easy to connect the two services in this way, and I think it's really useful, but it's certainly different from what folks are used to, and I've learned the hard way that being different from what people expect is not always a good thing. Hence this soft rollout. I want to see how all this plays to the readers of this blog, then use that feedback to guide a more aggressive rollout.
In particular, I wonder about the fact that the two sides of the coin -- iws and iwx -- look very similar, but do different things. Will it be necessary to clarify the relationship between them? We'll find out as we go along.
One difference I hope everyone will appreciate is the spare and uncluttered design. There are no ads and, except for InfoWorld's standard footer, no extraneous outbound links. These services are 100% dedicated to helping you mine the rich vein of articles that we've published over the years, find things that interest you, and make efficient decisions about what you want to read. It's a radical concept, I know, but let's give it a whirl.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2006/04/18.html#a1429