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Monday, November 27, 2006

Google CSE wisdom of the crowd or expert tagging

Google Custom Search Engines (CSEs) can be maintained by a one person working alone, a defined team or be open to all. If the CSE is being maintained by the 'crowd'(-defined as any person who may be or may not be technically qualified in that domain.) the wisdom of the crowd is at work. One of the best examples of such an experiment is the "PUTCH". I hope to interview the person who started it one day.

The google CSE is different from general 'crowd' wisdom in that experts can provide highly selected content to the users of their CSE's. I came across few CSE's on very specific subjects. These can be very helpful as most of these sites are popular only within a small community of users. Now coming to the idea of teams of experts, this is a still more effective stratergy in that the experience of all those experts is made use of.

Most of the CSE's are encouraging others to suggest sites that need to be included in a CSE, rather than asking them to volunteer. The concept of volunteers is in some controversy mainly due to the following reasons
  1. Sharing of Adsense income if any
  2. Resolution of conflicts regarding the inclusion/exclusion of sites
  3. If one volunteer is removed all the changes made by the volunteers is removed

However, the overall effect of CSE's seems to be one of user specific search. Very much like tagging--i say like and not the same. In tagging, each user tags different sites with tags of his choice, without bothering to see what others have tagged it with. In a google CSE on the other hand, the users of a single CSE, can see for themselves, what tags other users use and have a chance to improve or modify those tags.

As the CSE gains popularity, more of these interesting features of social bookmarking based search will come to light.


Blogger PutchSearch said...

Thanks for the good words! If you have questions: putchsearch [-at-]

8:16 PM  

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