• Subject: RE: Search400.com's response
  • From: "Eric" <eric@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 15:20:17 -0700
  • Importance: Normal

Is Seach/400 running on an AS/400 yet?

Eric Kempter

 -----Original Message-----
From:   owner-midrange-l@midrange.com [mailto:owner-midrange-l@midrange.com]
On Behalf Of dhawk@techtarget.com
Sent:   Wednesday, October 13, 1999 12:49 PM
To:     MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
Subject:        Search400.com's response


I apologize for this somewhat lengthy post, but I wanted to respond to some
of the recent posts about Search400.com.  I posted a response regarding the
list-mining questions last week, but unfortunately I sent it without a
subject line, and some of the subsequent posts make me believe that perhaps
many of you did not see it.  Also, there have been some comments about the
search functionality that I'd like to address.

I've reposted my response to the mining questions, this time with a subject
line, so I'd refer you to that post for more information on that topic.
Here, I'd only like to reiterate that we (and I refer to both Search400.com
AND The 400 Group) absolutely have not mined this or any other list for
names.  If you've received an email from us and are not a registered
Search400.com user, it's likely that you or your organization has a
business relationship with The 400 Group, our sister company.  There are
only two ways that The 400 Group would have your email address:  1) if you
purchased a newsletter, CBT or attended a seminar offered by the company,
or 2) if someone at your organization provided The 400 Group with your name
and contact information as an individual that should receive information
about AS/400 related offerings (they have lots of vehicles that do this).

We don't want to send you email if you don't want to receive it.  We have
many individuals who have specifically requested to receive announcements
from Search400.com and from The 400 Group, but if you'd prefer not to
receive mail from us, merely reply to our email with an "unsubscribe"
message, and we'll make sure you're removed from the list.

On a second point, I'd like to explain how the search engine works, and
correct some factual errors about it that were posted to the list.  The
editors behind Search400.com have gone out and identified all of the web
sites that are relevant to the AS/400 industry -- everything from IBM's
AS/400 site to small "labor of love" AS/400 sites, and everything in
between, including all of the vendors, consultants, and trade publications
that serve this market.  We've purchased the AltaVista Search product --
the same technology that powers AltaVista.com.  We use this software to
crawl and index every page of the approximately 1,500 sites that make up
the Search400.com index -- resulting in a collection of about a million web
pages against which you are performing your search.  We don't merely append
AS/400 and pass along your query to the major search engines, as was stated
in a previous post.  There are a number of benefits to our approach:

     1)  you're only getting AS/400-relevant results -- e.g., if you type
in ODBC, you're only getting back results from sites that have been
editorially identified as being relevant to the AS/400 market.
     2)  you're assured of getting the most recent and comprehensive
results -- there was an article that many of you may have seen a few months
back that said that the best of the major search engines only indexes about
16% of the Web's pages.  Search400.com indexes all of the Web pages that
are relevant to the AS/400 market, and because our index consists
exclusively of relevant sites, our spider visits these sites much more
frequently than the major search engines.

So why would you get hundreds of results by typing in some nonsensical
word?  This has to do with the way we've set up the query logic on the
site.  We do append the term "AS/400" to all searches done on the site --
although all of the sites are relevant to the AS/400 market, not every page
of every site is AS/400-specific (e.g., vendors who service multiple
platforms).  We've made an assumption that the user will only want to see
pages that are AS/400-specific.  If you type in a word that doesn't exist
in the index, AltaVista returns results that meet the "AS/400" component of
your query.  Obviously, if you type in a term or terms that are in the
index, pages that include BOTH your term(s) and "AS/400" float to the top
of the list.  The inability to return zero results for non-indexed terms is
an unfortunate limitation of AltaVista, but we feel that it's outweighed by
the benefit of having AS/400-specific pages float to the top of your
results list for most search queries.

We're not tied to AltaVista Search technology, and we continue to
investigate other options and customizations that will make your search
experience even more useful.  On that topic, I want to close by sharing a
few recent developments at Search400.com that I think you'll find of
interest.  We've spun off from The 400 Group and United Communications
Group into a separate company (UCG remains the major shareholder) called
TechTarget.com, where we'll be building and operating a whole portfolio of
vertical portal sites in specific high tech markets.  We have $12 million
in initial funding, which will allow us to dramatically increase our
investments in two critical areas that will interest you:

     1)  Editorial Resources:  We've hired Paul Gillin, most recently
Editor-in-Chief of Computerworld Magazine, to head up our Editorial
operations.  Many of you heard his keynote speech at COMMON last week. We
also have brought on four ex-Computerworld staffers in the past four weeks.
You'll be seeing a lot of editorial enhancements to the site -- new
features, more content -- in the coming weeks.  You'll also see a lot more
emphasis on our Editor's Choice selections -- our more than 750 links to
our editor's hand-picked selections of the Web's best resources in more
than 80 AS/400-specific categories, which provides a "human" component to
our search engine functionality.
     2)  Technical Resources:  We just spent $2 million dollars on a
state-of-the-art network infrastructure that will support both the growth
of the company, and greatly improve performance on Search400.com.  The new
infrastructure goes live around the middle of November, and will
dramatically improve our ability to offer new functionalities on the site.

We value the input of the members of this list, and we're sincerely
interested in making Search400.com the most useful resource for AS/400
professionals looking for information on the Web.  Constructive criticism
is fine -- it helps us make the site and our marketing efforts better. I am
troubled that a number of the most strident criticisms were posted by a
gentleman who is an associate editor for a major competitor of The 400
Group (a fact that was omitted from his posts).  I'm happy to continue the
dialog and hopefully incorporate your suggestions into future site
enhancements.  Also, please feel free to contact me directly if you have
any questions or comments.


Try the Web's only IT-Specific Search Engines:     www.search400.com

Don Hawk
Co-Founder & President
TechTarget.com Phone:(781)441-9915 x 207
980 Washington Street    Fax:      (781)326-8977
Suite 121 E-Mail: mailto:dhawk@techtarget.com
Dedham, MA  02026

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