In Grokking Transparensee, John Battelle said the following:

This is powerful stuff when you think about it, and it solves a core database search issue, at least for me: you know there is the right answer for the query you are entering, but damned if it isn't escaping you, due to the blunt nature of structured search.

He's referring to Transparensee's Discovery Search Engine. He did a decent job of explaining what it is, but it's really one of those "you really have to try it before you'll get it" technologies.

Luckily Steve Lavine (the founder and CEO of Transparensee Systems) walked me through a few demos some time ago. As their site indicates, the technology can be applied to a variety of "vertical search" markets:

  • real estate
  • dating
  • restaurants
  • many types of shopping and product comparison

It's pretty cool stuff. I expect that we'll see a lot more of this in the coming months. Searching structured databases really shouldn't be any harder than searching the web, but it often is. The "fuzzy" searching capabilities their technology adds does a good job of closing that gap.

The more I think about it, I realize that this is the perfect case of a product that could benefit from a screencast. I'll mention that to Steve.

Posted by jzawodn at March 14, 2005 08:09 AM

Reader Comments
# pasha said:

is this not the SmartSort technology that is currently deployed on yahoo shopping?

on March 15, 2005 09:25 AM
# Steven Romej said:

You're right, a demo of this technology would be nice.

How are screencasts made? After searching for the term I found a few movies and they all appeared to have been created and delivered the same way. vnc2swf is nice, but I don't like having to VNC in first.

on March 15, 2005 01:58 PM
# justin said:

i could be wrong, but it sounds very similar to the multi-dimensional database tech that was all the rage circa 1995 ish i.e. rather than query you drill down - think of the database as a series of cubes , rather than bog standard flat tables with relationships. "data warehousing" was the buzz word, and some companies like Holistic Systems developed nice GUI front ends to this.

sounds like a revamp of this idea , but in a Web 2.0 kind of way.

on March 22, 2005 07:16 AM
# Technology Transfer Services said:

In my opinion, the “Discovery Search Engine” is a powerful and easy-to-use technology, which when integrated with any website, lets users find the best match for any product they’re searching for based on an unlimited number of search criteria – even if there are no exact matches. Transparensee’s proprietary “fuzzy” search technology saves the user the trouble of continuously refining their search until they find a match, or having to navigate through a list of results with no particular relevance to their search.

on February 7, 2008 01:29 PM
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