Stephen D. Williams
Sun, 14 Oct 2001 23:17:01 -0400

Gary Lawrence Murphy wrote:

> Since the variety of sources of A exceeds the capacity of the consumer
> endpoints to sort and evaluate, we will always have B as a source of
> metadata and as a load-balancing proxy. 
> Metadata and proxying is what a real-estate agents do, it is what
> import companies do, and it is what stock brokers do.  Since the
> ability to add metadata requires expertise, it will always require an
> "educated" B-layer population, ie, people from a culture who can
> afford the spare time to become expert in their data sources (ie, us)
> and will always be required to provide high-capacity
> proxy/load-balancing so as not to swamp the suppliers.

Not 'always'.  When is the last time you used a travel agent??

> Consider, for example, the notion OpenCola presented of essentially
> having the user community of a Napster provide the rating metadata to
> each other; it sounds good in principle, but before too long, you will
> have so many "super-recommenders" that you will need
> "super-recommender recommenders" and so on.  Remember that when the
> web started, we had so many sources of data and such poor indexing
> that most individuals contributed only their hotlists, ie, they
> provided metadata and proxying to help consumers evaluate connections
> and find resources.  
> Even today, there are huge classes of search queries which Google
> cannot accept with it's simplistic keyword matching.  If you have the
> magic combination of keywords, you can find just about anything, but
> not if you simply assume, as humans do, that the words in the query
> may have semantic effects on the meaning of other words in the query.
> Consider the following query: Compare Tomcat with Jetty.  The answer,
> if you can find it, is not going to be on the Tomcat or Jetty source
> sites, and if it was, you'd expect bias.  Instead, the answer is
> going to be found on a knowledgeable meta-data provider, ie a 'zine.
> Nothing has changed except the communications channel.  Instead of
> using the phone to call a broker in your local town, you can use
> Internet to find your own best set of recommenders, and in turn become
> a meta-recommender to others who might find you before they find them.

Seems consistent.

Stephen D. Williams
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