Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

New Define Operator

A new feature at Google: use “define:” preceding a word to get a list of definitions, e.g. “define: blog”. (If you don’t use the colon, you will only get a single definition and a list of normal results including the word “define”.)

Update: You can also type “what is”, e.g. “what is a blog” to get a definition. This works slightly better as the search result itself doesn’t include any of the stop-words “what”, “is”, or “a”.


I created a new tool using the Google Web API: PersonMap will use its Googlesense* to find out what the World Wide Web most strongly connects to a person you choose.
The basic idea is simple; I test a list of activities and compare how many pages with the term appear, and how many pages with the term plus the name of the person appear online. The stronger this Mindshare, the more important the activity must be in the life of this person. Activity nodes*** are adjusted accordingly.

You can generate your PersonMap now by entering the name of a person (famous persons, living or dead, should work best):


*What is the Googlesense? It’s the sixth sense. We hear sounds, touch fabric, listen to sounds, smell fragrances, taste food and drinks – and we google the web. Google is creating web reality; if you can’t google it, it’s simply not there and belongs to the realms metaphysics. Of course, Google is not perfect yet, and the web is still too articial (too small). As soon as it reaches a critical mass, we can google the truth... or rather, truth is what’s googled.

**The display for PersonMap is generated using Sun’s Graph Layout Java applet (which I recompiled with minor changes). The applet lets you determine the strength of connection between two nodes, and tries to find an optimum stress-free position for all nodes within the set. lets your enter a search term and checks your website’s position.

Google’s Next Step

What’s Google’s Next Step?


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