Here’s a brief and somewhat belated round up of some of the reactions to Search Solutions 2010, held last Thursday at BCS London. It’s little later than planned, due to a half term break… and the fact that I left my notes behind at the venue 😦
But not to worry – in the meantime Tyler Tate and Ian Barber have both provided excellent and highly detailed accounts of the event, with notes on pretty much every presentation. Tyler also made good use of Twitter throughout the event, keeping us up to date via the #SS10 hashtag. Thanks, guys!
Also highly recommended is Charlie Hull’s account, who as some of you may know was also one of our speakers on the day. Charlie talked about open source solutions for search, in particular his experiences in searching and monitoring news media with open-source technology. I find myself seeing increasing virtue in the open source way of doing things; there just seems to be something intrinsically satisfying about being as transparent and open in your technical work as you are in your business transactions.
Another memorable talk for me was by Roberto Cornacchia of Spinque, who talked about their “2-stage search process that separates search strategy definition from the actual searching and browsing of the collection“. This division of labour is I think a key principle in the development of scalable solutions for search and discovery within the enterprise – although I think the precise use cases for where it provides the greatest benefit are worthy of further exploration. No doubt their solution offers more than Yahoo Pipes with a faceted search UI, but I’m curious as to where the precise sweet spot lies.
The panel session was also memorable, with thought-provoking contributors from both the panelists and the floor. We didn’t record the session, but we’ve been invited by the BCS to document our views on the “Future of Search” for an upcoming BCS publication, and no doubt some of the themes discussed will find their way into that. One of these could well be the growth of open source search platforms (a topic which was common to a number of other recent events such as Search at the Guardian Newspaper). Stay tuned for updates on this.
Next year, we’ll be holding SS 2011 at the same venue, but probably somewhat later in the year – it may surprise you to learn that putting on SS does take a fair bit of planning, most of which falls in the month of August! So pushing everything back a month or so should make things a bit easier all round. Watch this space for advance notice of the date.
In the meantime, we are working on uploading the presentations, so if you couldn’t attend on the day, at least you can now see a record of what you missed on the event website. And if you did attend on the day, and were inspired to learn more or perhaps join the IRSG committee, drop me a note either here or offline.
PS: apologies for the picture quality above – I’ll post a couple of decent ones as soon as I can get hold of them.