I’ve talked to a lot of search managers over the last few years and they are without exception people working with limited resources trying to make a substantial difference to search quality both on web sites and internal repositories. Search is such a broad topic that keeping up to date with developments is not easy, especially for people new to search implementation. Although there are at least 30 blogs on search-related subjects most of these are from vendors and of course take a particular view on a topic. The major exception is the Beyond Search website and related monitoring services from Stephen Arnold and his team but these invaluable services primarily track developments in the search and content business and in technology.
Search Log is a new monthly newsletter in PDF format written specifically for search managers, with a strong focus on implementation and management issues. The June issue is a pilot to gain comments from readers about the content and style of the newsletter. The plan is for this newsletter to be part of an information service for search managers which is now in the final stages of development. Depending on the reaction to the newsletter details of the initial service offering will be released in early July.
One of the aims of the newsletter is to try to bridge the gap between the enterprise search community and the information retrieval research community, and there is an item in the June issue about some of the work being undertaken in the IBM Laboratories in Haifa. Other items will include “website search-of-the-month”, in which I will be looking at both good and less-good website search implementations, book, report and conference reviews and analysis of search implementation trends, developments, good practices and challenges.