Friday, January 05, 2007

The dirt on Ting-lan

Ting-lan was thoughtful.

She had solved a problem sideways the way mathematicians go at it sometimes.

The problem had been to match answers that had no questions to questions that had no answers.

Ting-lan smiled. Papa had been no good. If Mama could see her now. She was about to wonder twice but decided this was not the time for Ting-lan Tao. By Ting-lan Tao Ting-lan meant the reverie.

Ting-lan's solution came from Dirt. Dirt is an online celebrity gossip magazine where fans can submit audio comments to podcasts and spill their beans. Not mung beans but all kinds of confession beans. Tittle beans. Tattle beans. Audio beans.

Dirt is powered by Big In Japan. Big In Japan has an ethos for developers. Ting-lan followed the ethos.

In this ethos Ting-lan became a "social samurai". A social samurai would not dream of clustering answers and questions through their feature values without user input.

In Ting-lan's solution a user/interviewer enters the bestmatch algorithm via The Door and becomes part of the program. Ting-lan built The Door using parts from Big In Japan.

There was a movie once where users entered programs -- Tron. Ting-lan's solution was Tron for interviewers.

Who said survey research wasn't cool? Cooler than Google? Yes, Ting-lan thought, Google is boring.

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