Saturday, September 13, 2008

Opening Search to Semantic Upstarts

I read a nice article in the Technology Review about Build Your Own Search Service (BOSS), a resource provided by Yahoo, that allows programmers to make use of Yahoo's index of the Web --thereby removing perhaps the biggest barrier to search innovation.

By opening its index to thousands of independent programmers and entrepreneurs, Yahoo hopes that BOSS will kick-start projects that it lacks the time, money, and resources to invent itself.

Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo Research and a consulting professor at Stanford University, says: "We're trying to break down the barriers to innovation".

The startups are beginning to build their services on top of BOSS, and Semantic Web companies, in particular, are benefiting from the platform. These companies are developing software to process concepts and meanings in order to better organize information on the Web.

"The underlying philosophy [with BOSS] is, we're not going to be able to invent everything on our own," says Raghavan. "So we should facilitate innovation."

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