30 November 2004

Search engines: Are they able to find RSS and XML content?

When users are searching for a solution to their problem, they don't necessarily know the terminology.

Let's consider a simple question that generates no clear answer. And this is a developer.

Suppose an end-user wants to find out about codes and "making them appear" in their blog entry. Where do they start?

A user can type all he wants into a search engine, but they'll never know to type in the magic codes.

This is the downfall of browsers. Yes, search engines are great, but there is no "auto-conversion" function.

Let me illustrate.

If a non-technical user types in a carrot into a search engine, the search engine does not automatically include the standard code as a possible search.

Rather, the unknowing user will type in the carrot, and get back carrots.

Suggestion

It would be good if the various search engines and aggregator feeds provided an auto-conversion tool so that when users type in a carrot, the search includes both the carrots and the standard code.

A new user is more likely to find the discussion that will solve their problem.

Summary

Users looking for RSS-related information will type in this.

They really want the search engine to do this.

Intelligent browsing can be intelligent for the user.

Users could be given a series of tic-boxes to narrow their search, or de-select terms.

Make it so.

Ref

Let the engine do the work.
When users are searching for a solution to their problem, they don't necessarily know the terminology.

Let's consider a simple question that generates no clear answer. And this is a developer.

Suppose an end-user wants to find out about codes and "making them appear" in their blog entry. Where do they start?

A user can type all he wants into a search engine, but they'll never know to type in the magic codes.

This is the downfall of browsers. Yes, search engines are great, but there is no "auto-conversion" function.

Let me illustrate.

If a non-technical user types in a carrot into a search engine, the search engine does not automatically include the standard code as a possible search.

Rather, the unknowing user will type in the carrot, and get back carrots.

Suggestion

It would be good if the various search engines and aggregator feeds provided an auto-conversion tool so that when users type in a carrot, the search includes both the carrots and the standard code.

A new user is more likely to find the discussion that will solve their problem.

Summary

Users looking for RSS-related information will type in this.

They really want the search engine to do this.

Intelligent browsing can be intelligent for the user.

Users could be given a series of tic-boxes to narrow their search, or de-select terms.

Make it so.

Ref

Let the engine do the work.
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