TEDx Boston Pre Adventure Panel on The Future of Search,
tonight, we learned a great deal about how search and searching are evolving
online. However, one interesting note that sent me researching was the
concept of “persistent search” and its impact in the way individuals are
searching and search technology. Persistent Search isn’t new and its
implementation is already well established with such programs such as Yahoo Pipes and Google Alerts. Bill
Burnham even wrote an interesting blog post on the subject in 2006 titled Persistent
Search: Search’s Next Big Battleground.
There are many advanced, persistent search companies today, including those
with cool applications, such as Dapper.
However, when viewed through the lens of content curation, persistent search is
a key platform on which quality curation becomes extremely easy and perpetual.
I’ve conducted some research on persistent search and identified 2 ways
it increases the impact of quality content
1. Automation of continuous query activity
Persistent queries are fixed queries that
ping repeatedly via either an RSS feed or a search engine. For example,
you may use Google
Reader to store your query and then ping that query,
intermittently, across the Google index. The results include
close-to-real time insights that could prove useful. Sometimes, you will
receive a Google email with the snippet of the search results or be able to
view news via Google Reader. As a curator, a persistent delivery of
insights means that there’s no active, ongoing searching. Just sit, wait,
read, and curate. This is the perfect way to be the lazy curator, making
persistent search do most of the finding of relevant content.
2. Results are predictive as well
Persistent searches are used mainly as online monitoring tools and can be used to measure the current
sentiment of viewpoint of the web. However, given that persistent
searches can indicate the current sentiment, this means that they can also
indicate future perspectives or future sentiments. Now, there are many
real-time, online monitoring tools, including PubSub,
one of the original persistent engines and Real Time Matrix,
an online brand monitoring tool, that have been used in this way. However,
let’s get back to the role of the curator. If the curator is creating a
historical collection of information artifacts, could a digital curator be able
to add a new dimension of predictive analysis or sentiment analysis to their
collection of insights? Unlike simply a reporter of sentiment
measurement, the curator leverages sentiment to share historical insights as
well as future predictions on their queries.
Persistent queries, easily curated for quality insights, relevant
to sentiment from the past, in the present and with predictions to the future?
Wow, the content curator’s use of persistent queries can be exceedingly
powerful and exciting. Given that content
curation is adapting from
various aspects of search, I think we’ll see more persistent search
applications in content curation, in the future.