Yesterday, while taking a break from writing my dissertation I was looking at the top search terms over at Google Trends. Few things immediately came to my mind:
- I am a Wikipedia and News junkie -- no surprise there! Sometimes, I do not know a whole lot about the top search trerms and have to look up the wikipedia entry to refresh my mind about the topic or person. BTW, have you noticed that so many of the top terms are named entities? I also spoke about this in my earlier post on Intrestingness and Feshness in Search.
- Google trends does not have an ability to discuss. I wanted something where I could comment on the terms in a digg like fashion? Perhaps talk to everyone about what I think of this whole "Big foot thing in the news". (Tip of the hat to the awesome widgets powered by Disqus)
- Finally, I would like to know exactly why something is in the News or has made it to a top 100 list. I just want a one or two line snippet/summary and a pointer to the most authoritative blog post/news piece about this keyword. While Wikimatix currently does not provide this -- it is something that can be easily extended.
Well, this was a quick hack ( ~150-200 lines of code; ~2 hours) and is meant to be a prototype/proof of concept idea. I think there can be a lot one can do with the idea of capturing the buzz using query logs and having discussions around the search terms and the latest news.
Note: Wikimatix updates itself every two hours. The disqus pages are associated with the individual search term and thus can be accessed even after the term is no longer buzzy.
Some possible improvements that might be good:
- Group related search terms like "big foot", "big foot discovery" etc
- Name disambiguation can be a problem. Sometimes the right person's Wikipedia entry is hard to determine without the context of the story.
- Simple heuristics might work rather well to identify the top categories that are in the news. For instance, today it is all about "Big foot", "Olympics" and a few other major events.
- For search terms, there might be a good video, photograph associated with it. It would be cool to display that as well.