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The Web Beyond Popularity - A Really Simple System for Web Scale RSS

  • Daniel Gruhl, IBM Almaden Research Center, USA
  • Daniel Meredith, IBM Almaden Research Center, USA
  • Jan H. Pieper, IBM Almaden Research Center, USA

Full text:

Track: Browsers and User Interfaces

Slot: 16:00-17:30, Wednesday 24th May

Popularity based search engines have served to stagnate information retrieval from the web. Developed to deal with the very real problem of degrading quality within keyword based search they have had the unintended side effect of creating "icebergs" around topics, where only a small minority of the information is above the popularity waterline. This problem is especially pronounced with emerging information-new sites are often hidden until they become popular enough to be considered above the water-line. In domains new to a user this is often helpful-they can focus on popular sites first. Unfortunately it is not the best tool for a professional seeking to keep up-to-date with a topic as it emerges and evolves.

We present a tool focused on this audience-a system that addresses the very large scale information gathering, filtering and routing, and presentation problems associated with creating a useful incremental stream of information from the web as a whole. Utilizing the WebFountain platform as the primary data engine and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) as the delivery mechanism, our "Daily Deltas" (Delta) application is able to provide an informative feed of relevant content directly to a user. Individuals receive a personalized, incremental feed of pages related to their topic allowing them to track their interests independent of the overall popularity of the topic.

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