Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Psychology of the Searcher


Via Twitter Blog – “We’re excited to team up with Google to bring Twitter’s unique, real-time content to Google’s search results. Starting today, U.S. users searching in English will see relevant Tweets in their search results within the Google app (iOS and Android) and mobile web. The desktop web version is coming shortly, and we have plans to bring this feature to more countries in the coming months.” The Mandarin has an Aussie aspect

Marketers see visitors from a wide variety of search queries coming to their site.  This data is valuable in guiding a search strategy, but it has existed in a vacuum, with little known about how searchers make decisions about how to phrase their search that lead up to the visit.  New research from Blue Nile Research surveys searchers about how they choose to form their searches in a variety of different scenarios, and helps Marketers see the patterns in how searchers formulate their queries. Blue Nile’s research shows an exact 50-50 split between users who search in fragments (e.g. ‘swollen ankle’) and those who search in more fully formed terms (e.g. ‘causes of swollen ankle during sleep’).  When it came to questions vs. statements, 27% of respondents phrased their query in the form of a question, with ‘How’ being the most commonly used prefix. With the research showing no clear clustering in how users phrase their searches, Marketers who wish to be well prepared to reach their target audience must be thorough in first understanding how their audience chooses to search before developing a strategy and by crafting content that closely maps to their pain points.” Psychology of the Searcher – Patterns on How Searchers Formulate Queries by Blue Nile Research

The Library of Babel is a place for scholars to do research, for artists and writers to seek inspiration, for anyone with curiosity or a sense of humor to reflect on the weirdness of existence – in short, it’s just like any other library. If completed, it would contain every possible combination of 1,312,000 characters, including lower case letters, space, comma, and period.

“Recently, the focus of many novel search applications shifted from short keyword queries to verbose natural language queries. Examples include question answering systems and dialogue systems, voice search on mobile devices and entity search engines like Facebook’s Graph Search or Google’s Knowledge Graph Information Retrieval with Verbose Queries

Spotting Image 1

Carlson, Keith and Livermore, Michael A. and Rockmore, Daniel, A Quantitative Analysis of Writing Style on the U.S. Supreme Court (March 11, 2015). Washington University Law Review, Vol. 93, No. 6, 2016; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 3. Available for download at SSRN:
“This paper presents the results of a quantitative analysis of writing style for the entire corpus of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The basis for this analysis is frequency of function words, which has been found to be a useful “stylistic fingerprint” and which we use as a general proxy for the stylistic features of a text or group of texts. Based on this stylistic fingerprint measure, we examine temporal trends on the Court, verifying that there is a “style of the time” and that contemporaneous Justices are more stylistically similar to their peers than to temporally remote Justices. We examine potential “internal” causes of stylistic changes, and conduct an in-depth analysis of the role of the modern institution of the judicial clerk in influencing writing style on the Court. Using two different measures of stylistic consistency, one measuring intra-year consistency on the Court and the other examining inter-year consistency for individual Justices, we find evidence that clerks have increased the institutional consistency of the Court, but have reduced the individual consistency of the Justices.”