It took a while, but I can now finally announce the lineup for Search Solutions 2009, to be held at BCS London HQ on October 1st. For those unfamiliar with Search Solutions, this is an event co-organised by my BCS IRSG colleagues, and we describe it “a special one-day event dedicated to the latest innovations in information search and retrieval”. Which actually doesn’t say that much… instead, this is the key bit:
“In contrast to other major industry events, Search Solutions aims to be highly interactive and collegial (with attendance limited to 60-80 delegates) and features a high quality technical programme. The format of the event will include presentations, panels and case studies in which invited speakers present and share opinions and expertise.”
So while the limit on numbers may have been by necessity when we first held the event, on reflection it is now perhaps more that way by design. Anyway, here is the complete lineup:
- Mike Taylor, Microsoft “Enterprising Search”
- Richard Russell, Google “‘How Google Ads Work‘”
- Vivian Lin Dufour, Yahoo TBD
- Greg Greffenstette, Exalead “Search-Based Applications: the maturation of search”
- Tamar Sadeh, Ex-Libris “Librarians, metadata, and search”
- Tony Russell-Rose, Endeca “UI Design patterns for search & information discovery”
- Richard Boulton, Lemur Consulting “Search as a service with Xapian”
- Dave Mountain, Placr “Location-based services: positioning, geocontent and location-aware applications”
- Gary Jennings, WebOptimiser “How and why you need to calculate the true value of page 1 natural search engine positions”
- Andrew Maisey, Unified Solutions “The benefits of taxonomy in content management”
We are also honoured to have the company of BCS President Alan Pollard who has kindly agreed to introduce the event for us. And in common with previous years, the main event will be followed in the evening by a drinks reception in the Atrium.
One thing yet to be decided though is the topic of the panel. If you attended Search Solutions 2008, you’ll no doubt recall the “Here Comes Everybody” discussion on the wisdom of crowds and how mass participation was the key to scalable information organisation. This was one of the highlights of last year’s event, with enthusiastic participation from all present.
This year, we have a couple of ideas to choose from. One suggestion is to expand on a thread that Leonard Will initiated on the IR mailing list, reflecting on the design of online search and retrieval user experiences and how they still fall so far short of the rich interaction and dialogue we experience when consulting ‘human’ information services. There are many ways in which the latter could be used to inspire the design of the former, and I think this would make a fascinating and topical panel discussion.
On the other hand, we could focus on something that is particular to Search Solutions itself: the fact that we bring together both the web and enterprise search communities under one roof to share innovations and experiences. What best practices and insights can these two communities can learn from each other? I’m sure there are some who’d argue that the answer is less than you would think – but that in itself makes an interesting viewpoint, and the outcome could help steer the direction of the event in years to come.
So, let us know what you think. If you have a preference or an idea of your own you’d like us to consider, then drop us a line either here or via the IRSG inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.