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GlobeAlive: A Conversational Search Engine



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Published: 2003-05-08T16:58:48-05:00

 



GlobeAlive: A Conversational Search Engine

2003-05-08T16:58:48-05:00

GlobeAlive is a new (beta) search engine that returns live people as search results. Instead of a link to a web page, visitors to the site engine in synchronous, live conversations with people who have expertise relating to their query. The result is a conversational search engine, and I think it has a lot of potential. There are also a number of major challenges that will need to be addressed as GlobeAlive grows. One of them is searcher-spam. In traditional search engines, it is the webmasters who can spam the index, using tricks intended to place their sites at the top of the search results. With a live search engine, the searchers themselves can be a source of spam, by just being a nuisance or even abusive to the experts on the other end of the conversation. There needs to be a way to minimize or prevent this, otherwise many experts may give up. As traffic to the site grows, managing volume on a per-expert basis will become necessary: if a new chat starts every 20 seconds, the expert will inevitably disconnect from the system. I almost had to do this during my first day as an expert - it was quite busy - but I hung in there, and it was a great experience. I have other comments, analysis, and suggestion about GlobeAlive, but I will save those for future posts. If you like the idea, why not add yourself to the search results? You can also read more about GlobeAlive in the blog, appropriately named Blog Alive.