Helioid co-Founder Poster Presentation at ECIR 2012

Sunday, April 01, 2012

To innovate at Helioid we stay on the edge of research and development in search and related technologies. In keeping with this, Helioid co-Founder Peter Lubell-Doughtie will be presenting a poster at the European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR) 2012. The poster concerns a paper written by Peter and Katja Hofmann, a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam, titled Learning to Rank from Relevance Feedback for eDiscovery.

eDiscovery involves many relevant documents, a situation not intrinsically handled by main stream search engines, but one that is common place in research searches, be they in the world of academia, legal, finance, or journalism. With so many relevant documents to search through we can substantially improve search performance by learning about user preferences and tailoring search results on a per query and per user basis. Peter and Katja's paper builds a system performs this personalization and shows experimental performance improvements.

You are welcome to view the abstract or read the full paper.

Paul Graham's "Frighteningly Ambitious" Ideas

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Paul Graham of Y Combinator fame recently mused on what he sees as seven "Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas" in areas ripe for revolution. Interestingly, Search tops the list, an area which we feel could actually do with a few revolutions to populate the field with a more competitive landscape of players. And we must say, we can't disagree with the clear, though daunting, opportunities for shake-ups in the other areas identified by Graham.

But what we find perplexing is that Y Combinator's investment habits, like those of most investor outfits, run directly at odds with Graham's thesis in this essay: that the biggest opportunities for revolution often sound like the craziest ideas at first. Graham points out the flawed reasoning in investors' so often shying away from projects trying to pull off these sorts of major revolutions, but Y Combinator itself mostly gravitates toward startups making relatively small, iterative progress on existing idea spaces. And with the numbers game it plays with small investments over many young companies, Y Combinator has the perfect investment model to engage in some serious experimentation. It's gratifying to hear these kinds of arguments coming from someone as widely listened to and respected as Graham is, but there is no reason for him to be passively voicing them. Respectfully, Paul Graham, it's time to put your money where your mouth is.

New Features for Deep Research, SEO or Just Casual Curiosity

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Over the last couple months, we've added a few awesome new features to further help searchers get serious about finding what's interesting to them. You may have noticed that some time back we added the History feature, which lets you take a look at the backlog of changes in results and categories over time for a particular search. If you find yourself periodically searching on the same topic to see what's new, you can just click the graph icon next to the search button on the results page to view the History of that search, allowing you to see how a topic has evolved over time.

More recently, we've been excited to unveil our Watches feature, which lets you save searches and receive automatic updates when new results pop up. This enables you to stay abreast of the most recent developments in a topic of interest as they unfold. Along with our History tool, this will be especially helpful for our research-oriented users who want to keep up with the most recent changes in evolving stories or subject areas, and will really come in handy for bloggers, site owners and SEO specialists engaging in a little brand management. We've been using the Watches and History features ourselves to track and analyze the evolution in Helioid's exposure on tech blogs and other sites, and it's been awesome! If you're trying to increase your site's visibility, you can Watch searches for your domain name or topical keywords, and check out the History of result and category changes for those searches, to stay up to date on who's talking about you, and what search topics would be best to optimize for.

Or, you know, for the more casual user, you can just keep up with the news and new teasers for that movie you've been waiting forever for them to make. Either way, happy hunting!

Helioid Video Review

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Olhar Digital has a video review of Helioid in Portuguese:

Helioid on TechCrunch

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Helioid was recently featured in a TechCrunch article by Eric Eldon. Here's an excerpt:

Helioid is a small startup out of New York that's trying to change that, by delivering results tied to categories of information. It's aiming at students, professionals and others who are trying to do exploratory research across a topic, and aren't just looking for a specific answer to a question.

tech crunch logo

Read the full article.