Archive for July, 2009

User-Generated Query Suggestions Found to be Better than Machine-Generated

At SIGIR 2009, an excellent paper was presented by Diane Kelly, Karl Gyllstrom, and Earl W. Bailey that compares user-generated versus algorithmically-generated query suggestions. As far as I know, this is the first paper to do such a comparison within a usability study. With a healthy-sized pool of 55 participants and 20 TREC [...]

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Putting a bit of Bing in the book

I finished writing the book and sent the files to my publisher towards the end of January 2009. Towards the end of April they sent me a round of copy-editing comments which I then either retained or rejected. On June 24th the publisher gave me the final proofs, to which I was [...]

Monday, July 20th, 2009

How did you convince your publisher to let you put your book online for free

Interestingly, no one so far has asked me why I am putting my book online for free. Rather, they’ve been asking how I got my publisher to agree to it. Assumptions have really changed!
The short answer to how is that I chose Cambridge University Press in part because I saw [...]

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Mama, don’t let your babies name their books with garden path noun compounds

When I realized that I was writing a book and not just a few chapters for a more general book, I instantly knew that the title had to be Search User Interfaces. It is a phrase that I use a lot in my work, and I was trying to summarize all of the literature [...]

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Converting the Book to an HTML web site

Several people have asked how I produced the html pages for the book website. What a perfect topic for a blog post!
(NB: Much of this material appears in a response I made to a comment from Will Fitzgerald.)
The answer is that I spent a lot of time on the conversion, because there wasn’t [...]

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009