I talked about An Amazing Search Engine, Contextual Search and More Contextual Search in my previous blogs. In all these cases, the search engine takes on the burden of deriving the context from the hints you provide. How about the searchers doing some work, themselves?
What if I can do searches like this:
person: Tim B
book: Mozart’s brain
I am not fussy about the syntax. I can provide the hint in any form the search engine wants. But it would be nice to tell the search engine the broad space I am looking for.
Let us say that we identify the type of resource we are searching for. How do you come up with some uniform standard for resource names? There are several options.
1. We can use popular tags (people are already familiar with this thanks to del.icio.us, technorati, flickr etc.)
2. We can use terms from a dictionary
3. We can use common taxonomies or ontologies if they exist
The search engines can use common synonyms and equivalent terms to make this even better or easier. Let me know if you know any product that does some thing similar.