Two weeks ago me, Ludvig Johansson and Christopher Wallström attended KMWorlds quadruple conference in Washington D.C. The conference consisted of four different conferences; KMWorld, Enterprise Search Summit, Taxonomy Bootcamp and SharePoint Symposium. I focused on Enterprise Search Summit and SharePoint Symposium and Christopher mainly covered Taxonomy Bootcamp as well as the Enterprise Search Summit. (Christopher will soon write a blog post about this as well.)
During the conferences there where some good quality content, however most of it was old news with speakers mainly focusing on outputs of their own products. This was disappointing since I had hoped to see the newest and coolest solutions within my area. Speakers presented systems from their corporations, where the newest and coolest functionality they described was shallow filters on a Google Search Appliance. From my perspective this is not new or cool. I would rather consider this standard functionality in today’s search solutions.
However, some sessions where really good. Daniel W. Rasmus talked about the Evolution of Search in quite a fun and thoughtful way. One thing he wanted to see in the near future was more personalization of search. Search needs to know the user and adapt to him/her and not simply use a standardized algorithm. As Rasmus sad it: “my search engine is not that in to me”. This is, as I would put it, spot on how we see it at Findwise. Today’s customer wants standard search with components that have existed for years now. It’s time for search to take the next step in the evolution and for us to start deliver Findabillity solutions adapted to your needs as an individual. In the line of this, Rasmus ended with another good quote: “Don’t let your search vendors set your exceptions to low”. I think this speaks for it self more or less. If we want contextual search then we should push the vendors out there to start deliver!
Another good session was delivered by Ellen Feaheny on how to utilize both old and new systems smarter. It was from this session the title of this post origins, “It’s a journey not a destination”. I thought this sums up what we feel everyday in our projects. It’s common that customers want to see projects to have a clear start and end. However with search and Findability we see it as a journey. I can even go as far to say it’s a journey without an end. We have customers coming and complaining about their search; saying “It doesn’t work anymore” or “The content is old”, to give two examples. The problem is that search is not a one time problem that you solve and then never have to think about again. If you don’t work with your search solution and treat search as a journey, continually improve relevance, content and invest time in search analytics your solution will soon get dusty and not deliver what your employees or customers wants.
Search is a journey not a destination.