24 December 2006


I met a famous indexer the other day

In my March 20 post ("Frustrated by a lack of meaning"), I made reference to a Microsoft clip art mess that was quite public. The story is that the keyword "monkey bars" caused certain images to appear when someone searched for the word "monkey," and that these results were misinterpreted in a strongly negative way.

Well, I met the indexer who actually wrote those keywords -- someone I've known for a long time -- and I have to say, there's something really cool about realizing that one of your good colleagues was behind that story. I also find it reassuring that the indexer is someone who really knows what she's doing, because it emphasizes just how far apart good indexing is from good search: smart people, dumb tools.

For more on this subject, I recommend reading The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. The book is about computer programming in general, but the sentiment is dead on.

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