- About us
A Little Story:
Perhaps a story would say it better. Imagine that you have gone visiting a big city, maybe the biggest city in the world. City guides are available for hire: let's say, all born and brought up there and having had invested time and money in knowing this city inside out. However, being natives, the city guides understand and speak a dialect of English which (is similar to your flavour of English to some extent, but) has some syntax and semantics of its own.
The bane of our previous generation was information scarcity. Our generation is plagued by its opposite extreme: information overload. There is information, lots of it, available on conceivably any subject, strewn across the Internet, like pearls at the bottom of the ocean. The unabated information explosion has resulted in an Internet which is mind-numbingly vast (To know just how big the Web is, see Notes below).
Information Retrieval (IR):
Keeping pace with the explosive growth of the Web, information retrieval has grown from a luxury to comfort to (bare) necessity. Borrowing Matthew Arnold's phrase from another context, "this strange disease of modern life" calls for increasingly sophisticated information retrieval (IR) systems to enable accurate and speedy retrieval of relevant information. Search tools like Google connect more than a billion people around the world with information every day (Notes will point you to more information on Internet usage statistics).
Limitations of IR Tools:
The rapid increase in the number of Internet pages has resulted in critical degradation of initial user benefits from search engine technology. Traditional retrieval strategies hence yield increasingly poor results with a low signal-to-noise ratio. Tools like Google can still, if correctly used, dig the depths of the Web and fetch finest quality information to you to a great extent. If correctly used!
What You Can Do:
If it helps, imagine the Web as a database and your search string as the query you are using to retrieve specific information -- just like you would write an SQL query to SELECT information from an SQL Server database. The quality of your query determines the quality of your results.
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