If I wanted to see what people were writing about on Internet industry blogs during a certain time frame, say the first two weeks of November, 2005, how might I do that?
The Sartorialist blog has been a big hit, with each post getting dozens of comments. Why? On the surface it’s the usual blogger story: an individual with insight on a particular topic publishes quickly and honestly sans organizational overhead.
To me, the Sartorialist does something else important. He delineates the difference between art and design. Many publications aimed at the fashion consumer, whether it be men’s magazines or even the New York Times, present clothes as art. I imagine the editors are fashionistas, and publish for (the taste and budgets of) other fashionistas. The Sartorialist on the other hand covers what people actually wear and so has something of agile in it, quickly revealing what people are and do. It’s field research with a point of view.
This blog turned 8-years old on Saturday, which in person years is about 61.
Dick: Did you run that 37Signals SearchSniffr tool against the site? What does that thing do anyway?”
Jane: It takes terms from our logs and related sites’ logs and uses them in search queries, and then generates a report. I have it here somewhere… here it is. The Sniffr Sensitivity is 87, which is too high. We’re still getting too many empty results and not enough best bets.
Dick: So what do we do?
Jane: We use the Synonym Makr and Zipfr to fine tune things until we get that Sensitivity score down below 60.”
Yahoo and Google have made search the dominant finding paradigm out there, but once you arrive at a particular website the search is usually much less useful. It’s time we had better tools to make search great everywhere. Lou and Richard are addressing the ideas behind this and opening up a rich area for innovation.
In Daniel Coyle’s article on Russian tennis players we receive another interesting tidbit from the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance. We already knew about the need for feedback, but this is the first I’ve heard of the Ten-Year Rule: “an intriguing finding dating to 1899, which shows that even the most talented individual requires a decade of committed practice before reaching world-class level.”
That makes me feel better about all the skills I’m still struggling with.
And if you’re looking to turn your child into a super athlete, the U.S. Olympic committee leverages the ten-year rule to provide advice on windows of optimal trainability.