The KSeeker

In Search of Knowledge…

Changing times…

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 30, 2006

This was the image that we had of the internet long time ago – where anonymity prevailed unless you disclosed your identity yourself ..


I don’t know about being a dog, but being human has its pluses and minuses. The pluses are that you can think and act the way you want – “free will” if you want to call it so..
The minuses are that in general our thoughts and behavior are greatly influenced by the society.

After innumerable observations and log analysis, psychologists are able to perform thin slicing of human behaviour – read “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell- which cuts opens a lot of hidden characteristics.

Some of the “revealed” news items in the recent past –

  • Each conversation in Google talk is logged
  • Huge amounts of money is being invested in being able to do searching in Videos/analyzing behaviour patterns/automatic image identification etc
  • Semantic/Contextual search could be the next big thing of the internet
  • Google plans to sell consumer behavior insights to retail stores in US

Extracting useful information from a newsgroup/blog using conventional text mining techniques has been hard because the vocabulary used in the two sides of an issue is generally identical and because individual postings tend to be sparse. This is the biggest challenge in front of the companies wanting to revolutionize the marketing research/consumer behavior angles of the internet.

The challenge to get this done is huge, but not impossible – Imagine the complexity where the metadata defining the search context keeps changing along with the result it gives and all this is based on the so called evolving internet folksonomy – phew!! – crazy stuff to implement, eh?

Coming back to our lovable dog in the cartoon, the picture is changing after all..

I don’t know what to make of this trend myself – Its certainly not doing any good to a netizen’s privacy though the technology would unlock truckloads of information that would benefit mankind. The trend is certain, and is past its tipping point – Even if you or me stop blogging, nothings going to happen – the societal behavior will still be captured, analyzed and used for business.

Quoting Calvin – “Sometimes i feel world is a very complicated place”…I wish technology made life simpler, but looks like that wont be the case. Children would soon learn fundamentals of web 2.0 and AJAX when they are 11 years old – and if Darwinism holds, there would be many more layers over their core making it more difficult to decipher them..

We could just pray and try to be outliers – and Retain simplicity…..after all its uncertainity that gives life the joy of hope, isnt it?


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