Social media isn't about search, it's about content creation and interaction. What is the role that search has to play here?In the conclusion Ian describes possible future directions of the blog track:
- Following a story different bloggers discuss it, track a story
- Follow discussion of a single infamous blog post
- Adaptive filtering of blogs
- Automatic tagging of blog posts
Another really interesting part is the Q&A. Specifically, Ian's response to the last question:
Search is a tool, not a task... Within the evaluation paradigm, I don't care how you find the ranked list of stuff... The problem of identifying the user task, what is the user trying to really do that we are abstracting and operationalizing into something you can measure in a lab setting. It's a critical question. It's something we have a standard of operationalizing; we have a standard way of making this an experiment in IR. This is how we have done search evaluation for a long time. So, we tend to try and cast problems in this way. But, one of the research questions, the most important research question is: how do you think about what people are actually doing and then how do you make this into something we can measure? This is what I am really interested in.This sounds a lot like the discussion that Nick surfaced at ECIR, see previous discussion here and by Daniel.
One step towards measurement is to correlate search interaction log data with behavior observed in field studies. If you want to get started in this area I highly recommend "What people think about when searching" [pdf presentation, mp3 podcast] by Dan Russell from Google's search quality group, given at Marti Hearst's SIMS i141 class. It's one of the best presentations on HCIR I've heard in a long-time.