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June 29, 2005

We Call Him Muscles

Ask product manager Jim Rainey climbed Half-Dome last week.  Congrats to Jimbo.  Here you see him showing off his physique (which may or may not be enhanced positively by the shadow on his right arm). 

Jim Rainey

Shortly after this photo was taken, Jimbo killed this rattlesnake with his bare hands.  And then bbq'd it.

Jim's Dinner

Andy Yang, Product Manager

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The Future Present

Before we leave Zoom 1.0 behind as a topic, I wanted to point out an article that didn't mention us...but should have!

In an April 4 piece, Forbes.com reporter David Ewalt described the mystical future of the Semantic Web like this:

"But as far as we've come, all we've really done is become good at finding needles in haystacks. There's no sophistication, no wisdom involved, and it's largely because our search tools are pretty dumb.
Imagine you were suffering from a bad case of tennis elbow and wanted to find a doctor who could see you on Saturday. A simple Google search for "doctors" would find some referral services, but it would also produce pages of doctor jokes and medical associations. More significantly, you'd miss all kinds of "physicians" and "therapists" who might be able to help, simply because you didn't choose that word. Search on "tennis elbow" and you're not going to find help for "athletic injuries."
- Read the full article

With Zoom in development at the time, I went and did some test queries to see how we fared vs. Ewalt's vision of the future. Sure enough, here were some of the Zoom related topics:

"Doctor"

-- Zoom In (Narrow Your Search): Physicians, Doctor Directory, Find a Doctor
-- Zoom Out (Expand Your Search): Pediatrician, Surgeons, Psychiatrist, Veterinarians

"Tennis Elbow"

zoom results for tennis elbow

-- Zoom In: Lateral Epicondylitis, Elbow Pain, Cure for Tennis Elbow
-- Zoom Out: Tendonitis, Bursitis, Sports Injuries, Common Tennis Injuries, Ulnar Nerve

And for fun, I tried:

"Forbes"

-- Zoom In: Richest Americans, Forbes 400
-- Zoom Out: Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Economist, Harvard Business Review
-- Related Names: Steve Forbes, Bill Gates

Not so dumb, is it? With the search technology we're cultivating here, as we've said a million times, we can understand concepts and related concepts, as represented by the communities that naturally arise on the Web. By putting names to these concepts, we know that the medical term for Tennis Elbow is actually Lateral Epicondylitis...and you didn't need to tag your page to tell us. The communites that your site is a part of, and related to, told us.

As Ewalt points out, "a semantic Web would allow search engines to act more intelligently, making it easier to find specific things." We couldn't agree more. C'mon over and give us a try David…it's free, dude.

Kaushal Kurapati
Product Management, Search Technology

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Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of IAC Search & Media and may not have been reviewed in advance.

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