High-return Information Access

Andrea Gallagher (drea@alumni.stanford.org)
Sat, 12 Apr 1997 16:20:34 -0700

I would like some ideas,discussion, and advice from fellow Extropians.

I'm unemployed (whee!) and casually looking around for the next job. I'd
like to get back into information retrieval, which was my guiding passion a
couple years ago, and I'd like to do something that has the biggest
possible impact. What I don't know is what would be the coolest and most
extropy-enhancing form of information access to get involved with.

Let me give a few examples that I've thought of:
* Help people finding the right product or service to buy.
* Improve access to scientific information/studies
* Combine information access with decision support tools
* Improve tools for argumentation
* Idea markets
* Improve interfaces for today's consumer search services (conveniently,
I'm interviewing for a position at one of them)
* Improve interfaces for high-end search engines (like Verity or Inktomi)

What else is out there that I haven't heard about? Which of them is the
most leveraged way to increase the effectiveness of information? What
problem is out there that just needs a bit of a push for a huge benefit?

Now, my skills are information and user interface design, design
management, and Web technologies. I'm not much of a programmer, so going
for pure algorithm or engine design probably won't work for me. But if you
tell me about any cool ideas or technologies, I'll try to figure out a way
to get involved.