News: April 2008 Archives
Is anyone else's house in an uproar because of all the controversy going on with bisphenol A in water bottles?
I'd known it was something to be concerned with, when we had a baby and I dutifully bought the bisphenol-free bottles, thinking it was mostly a done deal.
Then this week it seems like every time I turn around, I see more articles about it. And I started looking around our kitchen--we have a LOT of plastic stuff. And we'd been reusing everything, thinking we were doing something good for the environment. Well...
So I looked up some scholarly article citations about it, and watched Matt Lauer, listened to NPR and read the LATimes...
I feel more knowledgeable about the situation now. Enough to make me throw out all the scratched #7s and the re-used #1s!
I ran across this interesting post yesterday on how adding the right kind of additional data to a dataset did more to improve its searchability and relevance than creating a more complex algorithm to search it. Worth a read for those search-geeks out there like myself.
We have daily conversations here about how to improve the relevance of WorldCat's search and find ourselves tweaking the algorithm almost monthly, but it's amazing how much more relevant the results became (back in the early days of '06) just by adding the count of libraries that hold an item into the "data pool." This gets me excited to start folding user-contributed data (tags, reviews, what-have-you) into the mix as it makes sense and as critical mass builds. The benefits to discoverability could be tremendous.