More needles, more Haystacks, more relevance!

Those of us who have been working in the search sector for a while know that search tuning isn't just a matter of installing the default configuration, pointing the engine at some content and starting it up - in fact, if you do just that you'll probably end up with a search user experience that's even worse then whatever you're replacing and certainly a lot worse than your competitors' solution. It's also no longer about just knowing how one engine behaves and the magic tweaks to improve it - yo...Continue reading

Haystack Europe 2018, a brief retrospective

It's been a couple of weeks now since the first Haystack search relevance conference in Europe, which we ran with our partners Open Source Connections (OSC). Just under a hundred people came to the Friends' House in Euston for a day of talks covering both the business and technical aspects of relevance engineering. Doug Turnbull of OSC started the day by introducing what would be a major theme of the conference, Learning to Rank, and how Bloomberg had used and benefited from open sourcing their ...Continue reading

Three weeks of search events this October from Flax

Flax has always been very active at conferences and events - we enjoy meeting people to talk about search! With much of our consultancy work being carried out remotely these days, attending events is a great way to catch up in person with our clients, colleagues and peers and to learn from others about what works (and what doesn't) when building cutting-edge search solutions. I'm thus very glad to announce that we're running three search events this coming October. Earlier in the year I atten...Continue reading

Haystack, the search relevance conference – day 1

Last week I attended the Haystack relevance conference - I've already written about my overall impressions but the following are some more notes on the conference sessions. Note that some of the presentations I attended have already been covered in detail by Sujit Pal's excellent ...Continue reading

Haystack, the relevance conference – birth of a new profession?

I've just returned from Charlottesville, Virginia and the Haystack search relevance conference hosted by our partners Open Source Connections. The venues were their own office and the Random Row brewery next door - added once they realised that the event had outgrown its humble beginnings as a small, informal event for maybe 50 people into a professional conference for over twice that number with attendees from as far afield as the...Continue reading