Tag Archives: Wired

Heavy Research

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I tried to catch up on a backlog of reading over the weekend since I was in no shape to do much of anything else. One of the piles contained this month’s Wired Magazine and I had to good sense in the midst of my delirium to tear out an item that caught my eye. For those of you playing along with our home game, it’s on page 18 of the April 2011 issue and is called “Heavy Research.” Besides reminding us of a fundamental part of real journalism it also makes an excellent business point as well. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks

Your Algorithm

I was reading the article in Wired on the Google algorithm. Interesting stuff even if you’re just a web searcher, and for those of us who talk about SEO from time to time, it’s fascinating.

One statement stood out:

The holy grail of search is to understand what the user wants,” Singhal says. “Then you are not matching words; you are actually trying to match meaning

My immediate thought was that he was right about most businesses, not just that of search.   The Wired piece details the hundreds of ways Google’s formula manipulates a search to try to get precisely to the point of the user’s question.  Their algorithm is a highly refined way of doing just that.  My theory is that we all need one.

Many firms go about their business making few or no attempts to gain this kind of in-depth understanding of user wants and needs.  You can rest assured that you can count those that have an algorithm to do so based on customer input on your fingers and toes.  Yes, I’m aware of marketing dashboards and monitoring of social buzz.  Those are both great but think about Google’s formula applied to all that social content, feedback cards, surveys, and other customer interaction.  I wonder what nuances would surface?

How about you – got an algorithm?  How do you figure out what your customers, partners, and prospects want based on the information you gather?

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Filed under digital media, Thinking Aloud