Media and Search by Guest Blogger: Burak Fakioglu

I have been in an email conversation with Burak Fakioglu, CEO and Co-founder of Burrac Digital Insight, on Media and Search issues.  He came up with an insightful summary of his thoughts and I wanted to share it with the readers of this blog:
 
Since the second Istanbul NEG meeting and some of the posts on your blog, I
thought about what you said in terms of investing in media and related sectors,
and so I wanted to ask, or shall I say, put forward a proposal on investing
(time, money, talent, skills etc) in areas related to data-mining and knowledge
management. Information/news in todays world go hand-in-hand together with the
ability to search those digital files, because if you cannot get the information
you want the moment you need/want it, the info becomes junk or useless. And ONLY
the search utility itself is useless unless you know the subject matter
beforehand (i.e. if you never heard about nanotech or biotech it is pretty
unlikely for you to search "nano engineered photovoltaic coating" or 
"anti-tumor biotherapeutics drugs"). Search engines are only helpful when you
know the subject matter. You cannot search what you don’t know. Also, the
dilemma of "how do you know what you don’t know?" issue is generally best
addressed when you have trusted entities to feed you with quality and
filtered news/information like media, schools, libraries, peers or the "wisdom
of crowds" (DIGG or NOOLUYO is a good step in that direction) which
we talked about in our first meeting.
 
   
Anyway, no one needs to be reminded of the importance (and succe$$) of Google or
Yahoo, and there are a gazillion news articles and web sites dedicated to search
engines, data mining, deep web etc, heck even the US gov is on a similar path ("albeit
on security concerns, probably using apps like this, this, this, or this ) sometimes
imitating corporations use of similar tech (such as this or that) , but what
I wanted to emphasize is that there is just too much data or information out
there and we poor humans don’t have the resources or more importantly the time
to read or go through all that important information.
Even Bill Gates expressed
his frustration
at this information overload problem when talking at their
annual meeting of CEOs, adding that
"businesses need
to do more to help their employees sort through an ever-growing flood of
information that threatens to become a drain on productivity".
 
Ditto Accenture Chief Executive, William D. Green on his August 28
interview
at The New York Times when he said "Technology has done a great job at providing
data. People install these large enterprise resource planning systems that
generate a lot of pretty charts. The reports come out. But we have data overload
and information underload. What information management, business analytics and
business intelligence are all about is, how do you take all that and put in it
in a format that helps people make decisions? We think this is going to be a
$27-billion-a-year market in four or five years. We just invested $100 million
in our information management capability."
 
   
And lastly, as this and
this
article points out about Deep Web, not everything is indexed by major search
engines:
 
"Google may have already
indexed 8 billion webpages, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Many more
pages are hidden behind corporate firewalls or in databases waiting to be
indexed. By some estimates, this so-called dark Web is 500 times bigger than the
World Wide Web as we know it. Unlike the public Internet, however, it can’t be
retrieved by the usual Web crawlers. Instead, the information must be fed into
search engines’ mammoth databases using special retrieval techniques."

    So there
you go Cem, here I presented with you with some ideas to think about on Media
and Search, so if you want to invest in anyone of them, don’t forget the other
half, they are highly correlated ("IAC/InterActiveCorp. buys Ask Jeeves for $1.85 billion."). As for me, I don’t have any single solution, but, Web 2.0 (The
Hype and the Hullabaloo of Web 2.0
) could be helpful for what I believe will
be one of our biggest problems of the 21st century, namely information overload
and the limited time span people have to get higher signal to noise
ratio.

The bigger the
problem, the bigger there’s a chance to build successful and profitable
companies.

And I hope some
smart Turkish entrepreneurs/investors are working on these
issues.

What are your
thoughts/ideas/comments?

3 thoughts on “Media and Search by Guest Blogger: Burak Fakioglu

  1. if you look at the screenshot of “Attensity Discover” (@ http://www.attensity.com/www/pics/products/discover_screen_shot.gif) the first thing you will notice is the use of onthology. there is no onthology database (at least public and in a way complete) in turkish AFAIK, and this is the barrier that all of the software discussed in this article won’t be useful to turkish companies.
    Btw, i think that managing your own information is more important than the hidden web for most of the users. i’m expecting innovations happen in this area more than indexing the hidden web. (google search history, gtalk message history in gmail, del.icio.us, flicker etc…)

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  2. Without going into the technicalities of Semantic Web or Ontologies, I want to stress that even if you do classify all the worlds information and make it machine readable, the problem is still there, an overabundance of data/information and the limited attention span we have (no wonder many people are starting to get ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder) to go through all that info. And I am not talking about managing your own personal information per se, because if you know what digital files you have (whether it be videos, images, pdfs, ppts, html, text and so on) and have been through those beforehand, it will be much easier for you to search them (the ability to search all types of media is being developed, and in the meantime using Google/Yahoo desktop search or stuff like your mention of tagging is helpful too), and if you can’t, you can always do it the old way – brute forcing your mental capacity to remember where you last saw a certain dialogue in a movie or a “phrontistery” (www.phrontistery.info) in a text document. The issue is quite larger than that, because from what I have read and seen these last couple of years is that had the US political leadership known about, say, the effects of storm surge breaching the levee system before Katrina happened, they would have invested in the infrastructure and be prepared for the disaster. Or take the case of the attacks on twin towers on 9/11, there were many reports in intelligence circles about a possible attack (now we are finding out!!), but no one bothered to read or look at them. Same can be said about a corporation investing thousands of dollars on in a certain industry only to find out that they were too late in the game, because the decision makers were uninformed of a certain tool or technology. The information is out there, it’s only these information inefficiencies/overabundance that’s causing all the trouble 😉

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