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Brainboost Anyone?

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#1 bwelford


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Posted 21 January 2007 - 10:35 AM

In another thread on the possibility that Wikipedia is now using "No Follow", I coined the term BrinBoost. It seems to be a most useful idea, but it's come along too late I feel.

I thought I would do a search for BrinBoost. It doesn't seem to have been used much before. However Google wondered whether I was looking for BrainBoost. That turns out to be a rather interesting search engine from Answers.com. I rather like the results it gives.

What do you think?

#2 Wit


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Posted 21 January 2007 - 11:34 AM

I've been using Brainboost for some time now. It kinda shows that technology is NEARLY ready for an "answers"-based SE (rather than a "serps"-based one).

Nearly, I say, but I'm sure it's just a matter of database size.

#3 Ruud


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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:34 PM

I like it, at first impression. Only time will tell if I will use it -- and then only time will tell me if it is any good.

A quick test showed relevant and seemingly correct answers. Some were easily available as web answer on AskX as well.

If/when these things go anywhere, parents will have a new medium to instruct their children about. With a traditional search engine you see, you know that you're browsing through a bunch of stuff. An engine like BrainBoost purports to answer your question. One is expected to assume the answer is correct. Somewhere there is probably a disclaimer but it isn't prominent.

#4 iamlost


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Posted 21 January 2007 - 01:37 PM


Passed the link to my son who gets real frustrated with the 'real' SEs. He thought HAL would available to talk with by now. :wacko:

#5 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 01:54 PM

Yep, there's a disclaimer:

[quote name='http://www.answers.com/main/disclaimer.jsp']
No Guarantee of Validity

The contents of all material available on Answers.comTM, Brainboost.comTM, or BlufrTM.com and Answers Corporation's ("Answers") related services (collectively, the "Services") are intended to provide useful information for its users. While Answers makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information in its Services, Answers does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficacy, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Information in the Services may or may not be current as of the date of your access, and Answers has no duty to update and maintain the information, reports, or statements on the Services. Additionally, the information in the Services may be changed periodically without prior notice. All content in the Services is provided "as is." Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficacy, and timeliness.

If you click on "legal", (small print at the bottom), THEN go to "General Disclaimers" you'll find it.

It's important to establish a sense of differentiation between information resources - knowing what resources are more valuable and more likely to carry valid information is an absolutely vital level of critical thinking that people doing any kind of internet research need to have.

If you can't distinguish between good information and questionable sources then you possibly shouldn't be doing your research on the internet. I agree, Ruud, that these natural language query engines seem to establish a higher expectation of getting correct answers, which is really something to be a bit wary of.

#6 bwelford


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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:12 AM

Thank goodness we have Wikipedia, Joe, to rely on. :D

Further to the above, I got the following in an e-mail message from Gina Larson of Answers.com. I found this interesting.

We are also adding content from FAQ Farm, now called WikiAnswers. This is our community-based Q&A site that is using the Google Answers style of developing answers.

You might also want to check out our double-click feature. Right now you can double-click on any word on our site for additional information and we are bringing this feature to other sites on the web, too. For an example of how this works, first click on the CBS news story below and then double-click on any word you find in the story.


#7 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

Thank goodness we have Wikipedia, Joe, to rely on. :D


Like that phrase "FAQ farm" - so often you see an FAQ which doesn't apparently have anything to do with the questions you actually want to ask...it's just a list of questions that marketing came up with which they thought might help drive visitors in the right direction.

That double-clicking feature is interesting...although not always useful. I double clicked on the word "containers" - context in the article was "containers of battery acid", but what Answer.com provided me was:


1. Software that acts as a parent program to hold and execute a set of commands or to run other software routines.

2. A data structure that holds one or more different types of data. See metafile and OLE.

Not really contextual...

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