6. December 2010 21:18
Just like the Bosporus, the Microsoft sign in the Istanbul office is an ever changing backdrop, resetting the scene every second.
20. April 2010 21:21
No, not Dark Cloud referring to my current role responsible for Microsoft web strategy in Middle East Africa…although did
steal repurpose the LATAM team’s sig”): and for me…in the midst of sunshine & invisible ash. (Yes, it’s been sunny throughout although the last time I heard quietness without planes was in Manhattan).
When you text friends, you need only query but once. Not a hundred times refining as you do with Search. With text, all you do is wait for the results to come back. If only Search worked this way.
After being grounded in Copenhagen for several days due to The Grand Pagaille, as the French are calling it – The Big Mess - I ran a quick survey with my colleagues on how they are managing to get the minute by minute updates on which airports have re-opened.
Ostensibly, the Danish choose to serve their news in Danish(!), making it a challenge for a non-Danish-yet-Rosetta-Stone-Danish-owning-wondering-what-to-do-for-updates-when-stranded-because-of-volcanic-ash individual. So this is what we found in the….
Volcano News Index (VNI) shows that word of mouth & texting is more powerful than Search or Social Networking for local, non-English news
Assuming an individual cannot read the local news sources, we looked at 4 categories – Search, Social Networking, Analog Word of Mouth & Text Messaging as a way of getting localized data quickly.
For this index we measure:
- retrievability – how fast can you get information
- reliability – how accurate is that information
- effort – how much time, stress, and energy it takes to get this information
| ||Search ||Social Networking ||Word of Mouth (taxi drivers, shawarma sellers, & kind hosts) ||Text Messaging |
|Retrievability? || || || || |
|Reliability? || || || || |
|Effort || || || || |
|Commentary ||Searches for News in major search engines yield non local sources with significant lag time. ||Twitter trending topics were inconsistent. Too much noise. |
Facebook searches unreliable rumors.
|A bit disjointed and non-focused in scope, the information from locals was very current and up to date. We credit the Danish news (in Danish) as the source and our taxi drivers for translations. ||Notifying friends of the dilemma, they reach out to their networks. The geometric progressions of information are fast, reliabile and work on a push model. When you text friends, you need only query but once. Not a hundred times refining as you do search. All you do is wait for the results to come back. If only search worked this way. |
| || || || || |
You can try the first 2 categories for yourself but sample results from last 2 prove to be quite informative:
- Text April 18, PM “flights will resume Tuesday out of Amsterdam. They are flying the planes at 41,000 feet above the ash”
- Text April 19 AM “Rome athens madrid open. Czech republic open at noon today. Vienna and stockholm open with limited service. However seems chaotic and unreliable overall”
- Taxi Driver April 19, AM: “The volcano ashes have shifted over to Denmark. A bus ride to Oslo is 8 hours. It is open”
- Shawarma Seller April 20, AM: “They are opening air space today, I am sure of it as they have nearly finished their test flights.”
- Text from April 20 PM “U want austrian air via vienna @10.45am biz class tom for $2029. HURRY n let me know as that cancels in 8 minutes”
How can we build a search engine that gets us this type of tightly scoped, reliable answers to a single query “Help I am stuck in Copenhagen”? Open for comments.