Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Uploading a Book to Promote Your Website

I just finished translating from English into Hebrew Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd.
I asked the publisher to let me publish the book in English as well and he agreed.

Before uploading the English version of the book to my English website I had around 30 visitors a day. After uploading the book I have around 100 visitors a day, and my blog started appearing third in Yahoo Search Engine Results Page for keywords STAR OF DAVID (out of 80,500,000 results).

I’m sure that there are millions of such old books that were not published on the WWW. They are not selling anymore but they have very important content in any conceivable subject. All you have to do is persuade the publisher to let you upload the book in exchange to credits and links to his website.

BTW if many Web Masters will embrace my proposal and upload books to promote their websites it will enrich the WWW with quality content. It is a win-win situation…

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Using Flickr For My Blog

Google and Yahoo have enormous image collections. These are good for answering the question: is there a photo that suits my needs? For example, I collect Star of David photos on my blog. I search for Star of David on Google and get 55000 photos. I start evaluating them and find one that I wish to blog. How do I do that? I have to find out who shot it and ask his permission. How do I find him? At this stage things become quite complicated...

But with Flickr I can jump over this hurdle.
With Flickr I can answer an even more sophisticated question:
Is there a photo that suits my needs which is available to blog?
The answer is yes. I search for Star of David on Flickr. I get "only" 1,727 photos.
I go to the advanced search and at the bottom of the page there are options to choose:
Only search within Creative Commons-licensed photos
Find content to use commercially
Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon
I mark the first and the third options, push the search button, and get 372 photos available to blog without starting a correspondence about getting permission, and without waiting for an answer that might never come.

There's more: I choose the photo I want and see above it a button called "blog this". I click on it and the photo is on its way to my blog.

- And that’s it?
No, I go back to the comments section on Flickr to thank the photographer for letting me use his creation. The link to the original photo is automatically installed in my blog. Neat!

Imagine what will happen if Google and Yahoo will start using this feature on their enormous Image Search Engines...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Axioma Search Engine

My neighbor sent me this link to an article in Hebrew about Axioma and I hurried to download it and to try it out. My first impression is that it is fun and that the team there did a good job. Investor Arie Adler can be satisfied from the result...

On their web site I read that Axioma
Allows you to interactively increase the relevancy and context searches you make on general search engines… You arrive at more relevant results quickly - without weeding through a lot of unwanted results.

So the idea behind Axioma is to solve the problem of relevancy, the problem of “lot of unwanted results”- but can they do that?

IMHO Axioma will never solve the problem of relevancy because it is built on the wrong concept: it is a macro content search engine, which means that even if you get the web-page you wanted you still have to find your way in it, and what if you need only one small paragraph from a page that contains hundreds of irrelevant paragraphs? And what if the data you need is scattered in 10 different results? – you’ll have to enter each result separately, just like you did in the “old" search engines that the “new” Axioma is destined to save us from.

Only micro content strategy will help essentially solve this problem. QTSaver is a step in that direction. Axioma is a step in the opposite direction…

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Arnauld Leene about QTSaver

Last week Arnauld Leene wrote the following about QTSaver:

Martin's post reminded me to have a look at QTsaver again. I think I never commented on it before. The main reason for that was that I did not know what to think of it.
QTsaver allows you to do free searches based on Yahoo and Google. It then throws up the sentences where the search queries occur. I like this way to present the results of a search query. It is much easier to find the sites that are interesting. And it is nice to have a list of quotes around a subject. But that is what I find the trouble of the results as well. It lacks the context. I rather see the whole article or even the web-page, than some quotes.
By the way QTsaver calls it self a "micro content search engine". In my formal definition these quotes are not MicroContent. But never mind the definition, it is a nice experiment to see what happens when we dig down into MicroContent Items.

And here is my comment to what he wrote:

Thanks for commenting on QTSaver. I like your point of view...

A few notes:
1. You say: "Based on Yahoo and Google" and I'd like to add that it is based also on Dmoz and Wikipedia.

2.You say: "it lacks the context" and I'd like to add that there's a link to the source so once you found something interesting you click on that link and get the context.

3. BTW for me micro content is not a technical term but a vision - I hope to help convert the MACRO CONTENT WWW to micro contents, and I view QTSaver as a pioneer for making this needed change: today we get for most of our queries much more than we can chew - I think we deserve better.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Searching problems with Google Images

Searching images for my research about the Star of David is very frustrating. The captions of the best images I found so far had no relevant keywords like:
Star of David
Shield od David
Davids's shield
Magen David
Solomon's Seal etc.
I found them by scanning hundreds of photos that answer search words like
Roman Mosaics Sicily
Bardo Museum Tunisia, etc.
This problem seems unsolvable...

Another problem I stumbled upon was that my own photos from Flickr didn't publish on Google Images and I wandered why. I asked around and nobody knew. Today I noticed that my traffic meter shows visitors to my site who were referred to it by Google Images. I searched on Google Images for "star of David" Flickr and got 248 answers - a few dozens of them were mine. So the answer is that it takes six months until Google Images adds new photos to its pool.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dr Asher Eder

I helped Dr Asher Eder open a new blog and just to show him how it works I uploaded the results from QTSaver for the query: "Asher Eder". IMHO it gives the reader who doesn't know who Dr Asher Eder is quite a good summary in one click. This is something QTSaver does brightly - answering the question who is that guy...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Babylon and the State of Search Engines

I tried to buy Kombucha mushrooms from the USA through the Internet. In Hebrew they are called kambuchion, but entering this word into Google search produced nothing, of course. Babylon on line dictionary doesn't recognize this word in Hebrew. I had to find the right spelling by describing to the Google search box what this mushroom does. It was a brilliant clumsy way to get what I needed.
This is an everyday example of the problem to access existing data on the Web. Language barriers still prevent us from finding answers to our most simple queries.
It seems that biblical Babylon is still here, we speak in a language that others do not recognize.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

ESP Game

I just got a comment from Henk Poley on my posting Tagging Pictures is Bad Hunting where I said:
I am quite skeptical about finding possible solutions for this problem

Henk Poley:

Do you know the ESP Game? It's a game that solves this problem by letting people tag photos via a game interface.

Well, I saw the video with Luis von Ahn's brilliant lecture and I recommend all those interested in this problem to watch it.

I also used QTSaver to gather a few micro contents that will help us understand what it's about.
From Carnegie Mellon University comes this multiplayer Java applet simply called: The ESP Game. ESP Game is an experiment in human computation originally conceived by Luis von Ahn of Carnegie Mellon University.The idea behind the game is to use the computational power of humans to perform a task that computers cannot yet do (in this case, labeling images) by packaging the task as a game.

Humans are perfectly capable of it, but not necessarily willing. The ESP Game makes humans willing to perform this task by making a game out of it.Some users reportedly play over 40 hours a week. According to the game's creator, if the ESP Game gains popularity comparable to other online games, all images on Google Images could be labeled in just a few months.
The game throws up an image in a Java applet, then asks you and an anonymous "partner" elsewhere on the net to type in keywords until both of you have a word in common -- IOW, until you and a stranger can agree on a good label for the picture. Presumably, this is being added to a metadata database for the purpose of cataloguing all the images on the net.

"There's some meat to his idea," said his mentor, Manuel Blum, a CMU professor and a pioneer in the field of theoretical computer science. Producing word descriptions of images with the ESP Game is nice, of course, but the bigger idea is to entice people to cooperatively solve problems that defy electronic computers.
The ESP Game is a two-player game.You can’t communicate with your partner, and the only thing you have in common with them is that you can both see the same image.

The ESP Game: Labeling the Web - great model of using one type of interest (playing a game) to fulfill an unrelated need (creating an image database) -- it's the cornucopia of the uncommons!

Tagging Pictures is Bad Hunting

Searching pictures in any search engine is very clumsy and inaccurate. It depends totally on the description of the picture or on its tags (in case it is tagged on a photo sharing on line software like Flickr). The tags (or descriptions) are focused on the interests of the tagger, which don't always match the needs of the other WWW users.

E.g. I'm interested in Stars of David. There are dozens of pictures in Flickr which are tagged Menorah but include Stars of David. There are other items on these pictures which are not retrievable since the only thing that interested the tagger was the Menorah. Let's say that there are ten interesting items on each picture - imagine how much information is lost only because we (WWW users) don't tag properly.

This problem doesn't exist on text search. All the text "items" are retrievable.

I am quite skeptical about finding possible solutions for this problem, but I believe the more we use micro content anthologies the easier it will be to retrieve these "lost sheep". For example, I hope that in my micro content project people will find pictures that deal with Stars of David and were not tagged by the relevant tags in the place where I found them. The same goes for other websites that collect everything there is to know about a certain subject.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New ideas to promote your Website

One of my readers asked my advice how to promote his Website. I told him I'm not an expert but he insisted. So here is what I wrote him based on my own experience:

1. Update - It is better to update 3 times a day with micro contents that once a week with macro contents.
2. Micro contents - If your website has already long articles you can break them down into many small units; publish each "chapter" in a separate page and erase the original (search engines punish you if you duplicate content).
3. comment on the discussion pages of Wikipedia and leave a link to your website - this will bring you many visitors since people turn first to Wikipedia when they need info and from there they go on their search (it helped me a lot - see the discussion page of the term Star of David).
4. Translate parts of your site to any other language on a separate blog. 
5. Traffic: read your traffic report and click the referrers' links to see who reads your articles. In case it's a blogger leave him a thank you comment with your link.
6. Letters to editors: send letters to editors of on line newspapers about the subjects you nurture in your website.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bypassing Google Book Search

On Google Book Search and on Amazon Search inside the Book Program we are unable to print or copy/paste or print screen what we found. All these restrictions do not prevent us from using what we need – we can always copy the material word by word. To make things faster we can use IBM ViaVoice or some other Speech-To-Text program, then read the excerpt aloud and the machine will take care of the printing. (You need to invest about two hours to train the program).

Usually when you quote five WWW sources with links and all people are not surprised since everybody can do this. It's a whole new game when you can quote in one hour five books without reading them…

Searching Images

I published on my Micro Content Project more than 100 photos, most of them are published also on Flickr but when I look for Star of David blogspot OR Flickr on Yahoo Image Search I get only 7 photos none of them is mine. This is strange since Yahoo bought Flickr and one should expect that uploading to Flickr would end up in finding your images on Yahoo.
Same query on Google Image Search got me more or less same results.

What's going on here?
What's the policy of these giants toward our photos?
What do you have to do in order to find your photos there?
Do you know?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How to Reach the Top in MSN SERP

My subject matter is Stars of David. On the left side of this article you'll see a link to My MICRO CONTENT PROJECT and that's the place where I deal with it. There is a tough competition in this field – in Google there are 197,000,000 results for the query Star of David. Anyhow this morning my blog reached the first place on MSN SERP out of 10,467,906 results containing the words Star of David.

I want to tell you how I did it because I have a certain vision behind it:
1. Four months ago I opened a blog on Blogger. Blogs get priority on certain search engines and IMHO it's better to start a blog than to start a web site.
2. I entered my target keywords into my domain name – I heard that this may help promoting your site. []
3. Each Day I posted about three times– regular updating wins points for you on certain search engines.
4. I found all the content I needed on the WWW and edited it so that each posting was interesting, concise, and short. I added many photos (Creative-Commons and photos I shot) to prevent problems with copyrights. These two steps ensured that the reader will feel that he is treated respectfully and doesn't waste his time.

It took me four months, seven hours a day, and about 300 postings to reach the first placement on MSN SERP, but now I believe I (and each one of you) can repeat this achievement with any other subject matter. You can calculate the expenses easily. If you hire a student for four months, seven hours a day, his salary is what it costs to be first in your field in MSN. When I'll reach the first place in Google or Yahoo I'll try to calculate how much this will cost…

Any how the point is that finding content on the WWW is an obstacle. Snippets were misleading and I spent most of my time on opening irrelevant links and closing them. I believe QTSaver can save 75% of this lost time because it helps choose the right articles. It also helps a lot by suggesting words for further research. This means that the cost for placing whatever you want on the first link of MSN SERP will cost you only one month salary and to me it sounds like an excellent bargain.

The result is that people who are interested in Stars of David get answers on a totally different level of relevance than they are used to. Imagine what will happen when millions of sites will become collections of micro contents on a special subject. It will change the WWW from Chaos to a friendly neighborhood. That's my vision. This is what I'm working on. Search Engine Optimizers that will understand the economic benefits of this vision will make it happen. Not because they believe in a better visual reality, but because this is the shortest and cheapest way to get to the top.

Right now QTSaver is not ready for this kind of operation since it retrieves only from the first dozens of results, but it is quite simple to change the algorithm so that QTSaver will work on all the SERP. Now I need an investor to make this happen. -Any volunteers?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Finding New Data for Your Research

On the left side of this article you'll see a link to my MICRO CONTENT PROJECT which contains already 279 postings. The first 50 were quite easy to get: I entered the search words "Star of David" into Google and read the results one after the other. After a few dozen articles the data started recurring in such percentage that I had to change tactics.

I found out that new data is hiding around unique keywords like Capernaum, where one of the oldest Jewish Star of David was found, or Theodor Herzl who promoted this emblem in the Zionist movement. So I started collecting unique keywords on my Microsoft Access.

The question is if we can automate this process. In QTSaver we have a special algorithm. For example: for the query Star of David I got the following announcement: "QTSaver finds that the following words may help you think about what you're looking for... Click on a word to add it to your search query:


A similar result is suggested at
where I got for the same query a long list of suggestions arranged by frequency of Searches done in June 2006 :
6019 david star
511 david picture star
399 david jewelry star
306 david meaning star
273 david necklace star
244 david jewish star
243 david star tattoo
222 david foster search star
200 david pendant star
155 david history star

This is good for the first steps of your research, but let me tell you a secret: for what I need after finding data for 279 postings these suggestions aren't useful at all; adding each one of them to my "Star of David" query will bring only more "noise". What I mean by finding unique keywords is more like this:
"As Above As Below"; "boundary stone"; "wedding stone"; " David Alroy"; "David Gans"; " David Hareuveni"; Dormizion; Eder Asher; " Hashomer Hatzair"; " Isaac Luria"…
I don't believe we have such a filter in the market, but I'm working on it, and I'm anxious to read your suggestions.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Skype Directory

On February 15, 2006 I wrote about the need to make a Skype Yellow-Pages (see: Now one of my readers notifies me that Skype Yellow Pages is already existing on This is great news. I checked it out and it is a small directory, but it looks exactly the way I imagined it. I'm not suggesting they did it because they read my posting - I just feel good that I saw it coming.

Now I tell you that search engine users need a micro content search on top of the existing macro content search and that users need better snippets. Let's see if this vision will also find its happy ending.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Google Book Search Beta

Today I entered the search words "Shield of David" into and got 1020 answers. I read 130 snippets, chose to open 20 links, and found after all this trouble 4 lines I needed and 2 pages that were "interesting" for further research. This was much less than I expected.

o The bottom line - it was a waste of time. I could find more new data on a regular search engine
o This method of research brought me macro contents that included more paragraphs than I needed
o Snippets were misleading - promised good info but after opening the link they were not what I expected
o Most of the pages weren't relevant or their contents were already known to me
o 2-3 pages were technically in bad print quality and I couldn't read them
o Some interesting beginnings didn't allow me to see the next page
o I couldn't copy and paste

Maybe it is a good search engine for those who want to know which books are in their field of interest, or for getting introductory material, but for getting more info about something I already knew about it was disappointing!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Advanced Search is not enough

I'm so frustrated from the current solution that all search engines suggest us for serious heavy duty research that I published a question on Yahoo answers: (

How to search when there are too many results?
In the details part of the form I added that
I want to know every thing about the Star of David. On Yahoo there are 71,800,000 results for search words star of david. On Google 172,000,000 results. Adding quote marks reduces the last number to 1,740,000.
How am I supposed to cross this river of information?
Not to mention 16,900,000 results for shield of
david and 51,300 for "shield of david"?
Any suggestions?

In a few hours I got 4 answers telling me what I already knew- to use advanced search. But advanced search is not enough. It brings me to a list of ten links with snippets and when I enter the sites that the links lead to I don't find what I needed.

There are two major problems to solve here:
1. Snippets are bad! (See: they are fragmented and mislead users.
2. Macro contents are bad! They give users much more than asked and force them to spend too much time to find a paragraph in a whole article instead of giving them only the paragraph.

All these idea were discussed thoroughly in this blog. QTSaver gives a partial solution for this problem – it runs only on the first dozens of results. The new idea is to enable QTSaver to run on all the results retrieved for a specific question, ten at a time. I reckon this will solve the above problem.

I only need an investor to make it happen…

Monday, June 26, 2006


I just got a Google Alert about an event that happened on Oct 2, 2005 – mreining blinklisted QTSaver and that's what he wrote:

Try out QTSaver on It is a Web 2.0 micro-content aggregator. Can come in very handy when you are looking up information about a new topic. I love how the info is presented. Much more digestible than starting with

Filed under research tool, micro content, aggregator, search, qtsaver, online discovery by mreining.

Thanks for your support, mreining.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Micro Content Project

In the last three months I was posting to my new blog about the star-of-david. This is an online Micro Content Project which can be a model for any research. I want to find everything I can about my subject (Star of David in my case);
1. I get thousands of results for my queries.
2. I enter each result and copy what I need to a new document.
3. The first five results are great!
4. After the first 50 results things are repeating themselves and I get lost.

The snippets under each link of the search engines are misleading. They promise a relevant micro content and find an irrelevant one, or a duplicate of what I already found. It takes hours to find a new item after the first 100 results.

Qtsaver can solve this problem if we build a new version that will give RELEVANT snippets for thousands of results; but we need an investor to make this happen…

Saturday, May 27, 2006


When an idea gets down from the hall of ideas in Heaven it looks for its vessels: its herald (inventor), its gardener (developer), its investor.

Not every investor that was interested in Qtsaver was fit for the job. The ordinary way of thinking is that Qtsaver didn't fit the investor, but when the right investor will come – you'll see!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

More Compliments

Dave wrote about Ori Alon a comprehensive article on and on his way left me some compliments:
do keep in mind that there is already traction in this space - and orion (ori allon’s algorithm and concept that none of us can use) is similar in spirit to qtsaver (i was totally sucked into the blog behind this engine btw) …okay, yeah, read more about all of this orion discussion in detail if you want, and then tell me if you get a kick out of this very interesting new micro-content search engine called qtsaver (extracts micro-content from existing search engines, so perhaps similar in spirit? or is this a leap of faith or a wicked stretch of the imagination when comparing these?) …or did other search engines conceive of this a long, long time ago? …or instead of just qtsaver, check out surfnotes (a patent pending algorithm though, not issued)…or check out the concept from q-phrase (”ConceptQ works in conjunction with Google, MSN, Wikipedia and other major search engines.”)…the dude from qtsaver turned me on to both of those btw, so do keep an eye on his blog!


Honestly I didn't mean to get compliments when I thanked Jaan Ovret for his candid criticism...Anyway here's what he wrote about us on

it makes me especially happy when people can handle a less than stellar "review" in a good way, and take feedback and suggestions onboard. This speaks bundles about who they are.A couple of people who seem to have taken my less than enthusiastic words to heart over the past month are the guys at QTSaver. Cheers to that...

This lives me no choice but to thank you again, Jaan Ovret!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ori Alon Made It

In the last year I wrote a lot about QTsaver's competitor, Ori Alon. The news is that Google acquired his text search algorithm. Google confirmed that "Ori Alon works at Google's Mountain View, California offices." Alon's Orion search engine was developed for getting the most relevant textual results.

Now it is hard for me to estimate whether Google "killed" Orion or whether they are going to develop it. I also have no clue about the consequences this acquisition will have on the future of QTSaver which is competing in the same field of relevant textual results.

Anyhow – I congratulate you, Ori Alon. It must be great for you to be acknowledged by the best search engine in the world, better than getting a gold medal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Image Search Tip

Sometimes the best search strategy is to look for an image and then use the links from that image to find the answer. In case there's a need for more information from many websites - After finding the basic details in the above mentioned way it's easier to construct on QTSaver a sophisticated query that will gather the best results.


This strategy is good especially when you look for:


·        Products

·        People

·        Paintings


For example: I used this strategy to answer the following questions on Yahoo Answers:


1. Who are the statues in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza supposed to be?


I entered search words San Francisco Civic Center statue into Google Image search and got a picture of a certain building. Clicking on that picture led me to Simon Bolivar's statue.



2. How did amur leopards come to be, when was its prime, why is it on a current endangered list?


I entered search words amur leopards into Google Image search and clicked the first picture. It led me to an article with all the needed details .

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Search Strategy

In the last few days I was busy answering questions on Yahoo Answers, trying to show the world how efficient is QTSaver, the microcontent engine.


Searching requires a lot of patience – one attempt is not always enough. You have to refine your query, add some words or take off others until you get what you want.


Most important is to check if the spelling of your search words is correct. Many people enter their misspellings into Google search window, hoping the spell checker will suggest them the right spelling. Others check whether the number of the results is enough to conclude that the spelling is right.


This morning I tried to answer the following question:


How is the Building Mosque Al-Aqsa?


Entering search words "Al-Aqsa" into QTSaver brought me irrelevant sentences like: Al-Aqsa Intifada, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Anyhow there was no info about the Building.


 Entering search words "Al-Aqsa building" into QTSaver brought me info about building attempts in Al-Aqsa but not a description of the building.


Only my third attempt in which I entered the search words "Al-Aqsa Mosque description" brought me the answers I wanted.


Using the best search engine doesn't guarantee success. I guess that's why so many people use Yahoo Answers. Their searches fail and they hope that somebody in the world will find the right words for their query…

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

MicroContent Local Search

The more words you put into the search engine's query window the less results you get.  Local search reduces search results- it is like adding a name of a place to every query. Actually you can make a local search on any general search engine by adding a name of the place to your original search words – like: Madonna + New York.


But local search engines not only save entering names of places - they collect not only pages that mention the name of the desired place but also pages that belong to the place without mentioning it, like webpages belonging to certain businesses that are situated in the desired place. Local search engines may even identify users' location and retrieve results which are relevant to it.


Search localization is a new phenomenon and it is developed  simultaneously by all the mane players in the search engines arena: Google, Yahoo!/Overture, AOL and MSN, and by others.


Local searches have one big disadvantage – they are MACRO CONTENTS, which means that if the page talks one time about the place you want and 100 times about other places you'll have to ignore the irrelevant paragraphs in order to find the one you love. This can be really exhausting when you want to collect information from several Websites.


I believe QTSaver can be a great  improvement to local search engines, because it collects only the relevant paragraphs. Today QTSaver runs only on the first top results but my dream is that in the future it will run on all the millions of search results and collect all the relevant paragraphs to a separate database. Such a system will have the chance to be called a perfect  local search engine.


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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Yahoo Questions

Yahoo Answers is a search engine for human answers. There are many questions that are unique for this kind of a search engine, like: "in your words what is…?" From your own experience how to…", "what's your opinion about…". Nevertheless in Yahoo Answers there are many questions that can be answered by regular machine based search engines. Like: What is the largest cell?  What company is Edward Rogers CEO of?   Which state has the longest name ? what are the solution of oil price increase?  what is acoustics as it deals  with ergonomics?  Why do some people have too much iron in blood ?   what does SRA mean?   muscle damages?  what is your definition of Ebonics?

I use QTSaver to answer such questions, but you can use any other search engine. What makes  QTSaver so fit for this job is that you get many answers on one page and can understand right away what's the right one. On other search engines in case you arrived to a wrong result you have to open another link, and in case this one is also wrong  you have to open another link until you get exhausted.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Gordon Parks

On Google zeitgeist I saw 15 search terms that were most popular last week:


dana reeve ; spacecraft ; pi ; ncaa ; sopranos ; teri hatcher ; wafah dufour ; sebastian telfair ; world baseball classic ; barry bonds ; knights templar ; bettie page ; march madness ; gordon parks ; peter tomarken ; 


Most of these search terms were unfamiliar to me. For example: Gordon Parks.


I asked myself:

Who was Gordon Parks?

Why was he so popular?

What made him enter the Google Zeitgeist right now? 

Why didn't I hear about him?


I used QTSaver in order to get the answers (see bold fonts) for my questions:

Gordon Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) was a groundbreaking African-American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director. He is best remembered for his photo essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft.

Parks, who was 93, passed away at his home in New York City on March 7 2006.

In 2002, at the age of 90, Gordon Parks received the Jackie Robinson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. These honors were only the two latest tributes bestowed on a man whose achievements in photography, literature, film, and ballet have earned him more than twenty doctorates and numerous awards. When asked why he undertook so many professions, Parks told Black Enterprise "At first I wasn't sure that I had the talent, but I did know I had a fear of failure, and that fear compelled me to fight off anything that might abet it.

Gordon Parks Sr. is an accomplished author, composer, filmmaker, and internationally renowned and award-winning photo-journalist. Born in Fort Scott, Kansas in 1912, Gordon Parks overcame poverty and racism to master his art. After his mother died when he was in his teens, Parks left Kansas for Minneapolis and supported himself by working as a piano player, busboy, basketball player and Civilian Conservation Corpsman. At the age of 25, he began to seriously consider photography as a career direction. In addition to The Learning Tree, Parks has written three other books about his life: A Choice of Weapons, To Smile in Autumn, and Voices in the Mirror. Parks also published several volumes of poetry combined with his photographs, including Gordon Parks: A Poet and His Camera; Gordon Parks: Whispers of Intimate Things; Gordon Parks: In Love, Moments Without Proper Names; Arias of Silence; and Glimpses Toward Infinity.

Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks

Plot Outline: An intimate look at the life and career of Gordon Parks a true Renaissance man who has excelled as a photographer, novelist, journalist, poet, musician and filmmaker.

Gordon Parks (1912- ) filming "The Learning Tree", Fort Scott, KS, 1968.

A collection of photographs, biographical materials, posters, and other items pertaining to the career of Gordon Parks.The materials in this collection mostly concern two movies directed by Parks; The Learning Tree and Leadbelly. A checklist of Parks' published works held by Pittsburg State University is appended to this page.

Materials pertaining to The Learning Tree were donated by Gordon Parks and by Paramount Studios in 1969.Other materials in the collection were obtained by purchase and by gift from various donors at Pittsburg State University.

Gordon Parks was born in Kansas in 1912 and spent his youth in Minnesota. During the Depression a variety of jobs, including stints as a musician and as a waiter on passenger trains, took him to various parts of the northern United States. He took up photography during his travels and by 1940 had made his first serious attempts to earn a living from the art as a self-taught fashion photographer in Minneapolis and Chicago.



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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dream Search Engine

Yesterday I asked on Yahoo-Answers:

How would a dream-search-engine look like?

For example: one answer instead of zillion results

-Relevant results instead of irrelevant ones etc.


I got eight answers:

Five answerers thought that it would look like Google.

One  thought that it would look like MSN.


Utcursch wrote:


It won't "look" like anything. You just think of what to search for, and the results would be front of you, in the format you want them. That would be the dream-search-engine.

Giveu2tictacs wrote:


design one that learns your search style. Example: If I seach for items like clothing, vases, tables. Then the search engine will learn that I am most likely shopping and put primary result for stores first rather than an article about vases. It could also understand that the user always makes the same typing errors. So I type in vaces instead of vases. The search engine would see the spelling error and bring up results for the word I implied.


I chose the last answer as the Best Answer, but I think that for the time being the question was more impressive than the answers.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Answering Yahoo Answers Beta with QTSaver

I think some of the questions on Yahoo Answers Beta can be answered on the fly by using QTSaver. Answerers who will use QTSaver will discover that they get a lot of points for giving the best answers. I am going to try to answer as many questions as I can just to test the possibilities of this new system .


For example:



Cyberbob asked:


1. How can i keep myslf frm getting distracted by thoughts while i am studying?


I entered the words: distracted thoughts studying into QTSaver and in one minute copied three relevant links and pasted them for Cyberbob's: The Inner Conscious Student Services - Charles Sturt University Study Tips from Students



Now I'm waiting anxiously to see if I get the desired 10 points for the best answer.




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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Brokeback Mountain


One of the search terms that were most popular on meta-search engines while I was preparing my posting about the World Brain "Tag Cloud" was

Brokeback Mountain.  I never heard about it before. I thought it might be a mountain in the US, and wondered what could have made it so popular. The same day I stumbled upon the Oscar Academy Award coverage and understood that the search term Brokeback Mountain relates to a film. It made me curious so I enteres the search term Brokeback Mountain into QTSaver and got the following results:

Brokeback Mountain is a widely acclaimed BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Academy Award-winning film directed by Ang Lee.The 2005 film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams. The drama depicts a sexual, romantic and emotional relationship between two men living in the American West in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

The tagline of the film is "Love is a Force of Nature". Translations of the title of the film are here: Titles of "Brokeback Mountain".

Brokeback Mountain is the twenty-years story of star-crossed lovers Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), two young men, not even 20, who meet and fall in love on a sheep-herding job on Brokeback Mountain, somewhere in Wyoming.The film documents their complex relationship over the twenty years that follow.

I saw Brokeback Mountain at the Venice Film Festival (with Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hatheway, and Ang Lee in attendance)and it's been haunting me ever since.I had read Annie Proulx's short story in the "New Yorker" years ago and it haunted me as well. What is it about this story?

beautifully epic Western, Brokeback Mountain's gay love story is embued with heartbreaking universality, helped by the moving performances of Ledger and Gyllenhaal.CAST & CREW Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams Directed by Ang Leemore...


From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ang Lee comes an epic American love story, based on the short story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx and adapted for the screen by the team of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana.

this is the romantic tale of two male cowboys from very different backgrounds who meet and fall in love while working together as sheep ranch hands near Wyoming's Brokeback Mountain the summer of 1961.Their lives take different courses, however, with Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) becoming a rodeo cowboy while Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) remains a ranch hand, and the film follows their lives as they see each other again over the next 20 years. Their relationship is rocky, however, as they must deal with the challenges posed as the intolerance of pre-(and post)-Stonewall rural America rears its ugly, violent head against the two lovers.

Both young men seem certain of their set places in the heartland - obtaining steady work, marrying and raising a family - and yet hunger for something beyond what they can articulate. When Aguirre dispatches them to work as sheepherders up on the majestic Brokeback Mountain, they gravitate towards camaraderie and then a deeper intimacy. At summer's end, the two must come down from Brokeback and part ways. Remaining in Wyoming, Ennis weds his sweetheart Alma (Michelle Williams), with whom he will have two daughters as he ekes out a living.

Brokeback Mountain, already a hot favorite for next month's Hollywood Oscars, was the big star of the night at the British Film Academy Awards (BAFTA) on Sunday...


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Monday, March 13, 2006

Arnaud Leene

Arnaud Leene wrote on his Microcomtent Musings site about My idea to create a public yellow pages directory on Google Base:

I have mixed feelings about this. I stopped adding my personal information on services. By now my profile can be found on many social networking services and all other services I try out. My information is out there and on my personal web-site. I am still waiting for a party that gathers this information and creates something new. I am not waiting for yet another place to put my info.


Thanks, Arnaud. Just to show my gratitude this QTSaver retrieval is dedicated to you:


Search results for Leene musings

On the MicroLearning Conference in Innsbruck, Austria 23-24 June 2005 Arnaud Leene presented the various aspects of what is called MicroContent.He made it clear what MicroContent really is and coined a MicroContent definition.

Technorati tagged more MicroContent and MicroLearning musings of this presentation. Also see Arnaud's blogged musings on MicroContent.

Arnaud Leene (MicroContent Musings), who is also going to be at Microlearning 2005, published a first draft of his paper: "MicroContent is Everywhere" (PDF).I think it is a good point that he mentions how microcontent gets structured through the use of metadata, calling it Structured Microcontent. Very interesting is the lifecycle of microcontent items he describes: creation, storage, publication, viewing, changing and removing.

I've started reading Arnaud Leene's Microcontent Musings.


It was great to meet Sebastian Fiedler and Chris Langreiter again, and I also got to know Michael Schuster (, Roger Fischer (, Seb Paquet, Bryan Alexander, Arnaud Leene, Norm Friesen, Hagen Graf, Andrea Handl, Renate Millebner, Patricia K?ll, Wolf Hilzensauer, Gernot Tscherteu, Junichi Azuma, Bruno Haid and many others. I found both the discussions and presentations on MicroContent and MicroLearning as well as the social networking very rewarding, and hope that we will not stop here but transform and establish this discourse on the web. I will write more about this later, I just need some time to let things settle a bit.

Web 2.0 is based on openly accessable microcontent (for a definition of “microcontent” see here and of course microcontent musings) – it resembles more a field of dynamic content “clouds” than an archive of web “pages” and “documents”. The result is an infrastructure that is open, decentralized, bottom-up and self-organizing.

This thread started as a post on Wondirblogging, languished for a while and resurfaced with Arnaud Leene's Wondir MicroContent post, which I responded to here with Micro-Wondir, and he followed up again with Wondir continued.



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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Jaan Orvet

Most of the traffic to my Blog comes from Google. I never paid much attention to MSN, but yesterday I checked the sites that link to QTSaver and discovered a precious piece of information:

Jaan Orvet wrote on Monday, February 27, 2006 in his Blog about QTSaver under the heading "QTsaver - be click happy".


Although Jaan Orvet is not enthusiastic about QTSaver I publish excerpts from his review and  hope to do the same with every next reviewer.


"Today I came across QTsaver thanks to Emily Chang's eHub...

"When you're done removing all the results you don't find useful, click on the Save button. All the results you didn't hide will be saved in an editable format."

For this to be valuable, you have to be incredibly click happy. I stopped counting and unchecking check boxes at 74, the other 40 or so didn't seem worth my time.

Granted, there are a few key words towards the left hand corner of the page that help cut down on the frantic clicking in your next search, but it still isn't an effective way of working. Here are my two suggestions for improving QTSaver based on my first visit:

1) Let users tick the boxes that correspond to content they are interested in instead of unchecking.

2) When a user clicks a word in the "key word" list, let that trigger a refined search. Don't force users to hit "search" again. If you stick with it, move the search field and button to within the key word box.

…I feel that there's potential in the idea, but the current implementation leaves me with quite a few doubts".


Thanks, Jaan, I hope that our next version will implement your suggestions and get better…

Conclusion: Bloggers – check what people say about you on different search engines. You may be surprised.




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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Kirby Puckett

On Google Zeitgeist for the Week Ending March 6, 2006  I didn't recognize the following search terms: 


Anna Nicole Smith ; Kirby Puckett ; June Carter ; Jessica Alba; Reese Witherspoon ; Dolly Parton ; one tree hill ; Jon Stewart .


What does this mean?


That most Google surfers are American and I'm not?

That I'm not connected to the trends and patterns of the world?


Well, it's never too late to start learning. I used QTSaver to learn about Kirby Puckett.


Search results for Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett (born March 14, 1961) was widely regarded as one of the best, and most popular, Major League Baseball players of the 1980s and early-to-mid 1990s.

On May 9th, 1997, Puckett appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, and recited the evening's top ten list, "Top Ten Ways to Mispronounce Kirby Puckett", which were...

Costas once jokingly promised that if Kirby Puckett was batting over .350 by the time his child was born he would name his kid Kirby. True to his word, since Kirby was hitting better than .350, Bob gave his son, Keith Costas, whose first name comes from Bob's first wife's brother, the middle name Kirby.

The 1982 season brought the team indoors, into the Metrodome, which is in downtown Minneapolis near the Mississippi River. After several losing seasons in the Dome, the arrival of 1980s superstars Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett electrified the team and sent them to their first World Series. Louis Cardinals to win the 1987 World Series.

Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett) hurt the team badly, and Tom Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career attempting to rebuild the Twins.

Kirby Puckett (grew up in Chicago, lives in Minneapolis suburbs)


Induction Information Elected to Hall of Fame by Baseball Writers in 2001, as a Player 423 votes on 515 ballots 82.14% Hall of Fame plaque for Kirby Puckett

Bio | Video (Streaming Windows Media) A fun-loving and gregarious ball player, Kirby Puckett totaled 12 solid seasons with the Minnesota Twins. The 1982 first-round draft choice hit for power and average, batting .318 with 207 home runs. A true team leader, Puckett led the Twins to a pair of World Series titles in 1987 and 1991.

Did You Know... that when Kirby Puckett retired following the 1995 season, he had attained the highest career batting average (.318) for a right-handed batter since Joe DiMaggio?

The Rise and Fall of Kirby Puckett

Then he wasn't a ballplayer anymore, let alone a whale of one. Then he was just back to being fat little Kirby Puckett. Of course, this meant being able to spend more time with his mistress of many years, who nobody seems to have known existed, because Kirby was, of course, an ideal family man -- even though, truth be told, he wasn't even an ideal scoundrel, because he also had cheated on his mistress of many years with a passel of other sad and lonely women. And you thought the fans were duped.

Excepted from "The Rise and Fall of Kirby Puckett," by Frank Deford in the March 17, 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated.

ATLANTA ( -- Baseball fans across the country were shocked last year when Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, one of the game’s most beloved figures, was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at a suburban Minneapolis restaurant.

Kirby Puckett was a 10-time All-Star and a six-time Gold Glove winner.

(CNN) -- Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, who helped lead the Minnesota Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991, died Monday after suffering a stroke over the weekend, the team announced.

"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am terribly saddened by the sudden passing of Kirby Puckett," said a statement released by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig."He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term."  

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