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(March 22, 2005) - Rageboy stumbled over Amazon's Statistically Improbable Phrase (SIP) algorithm. As an additional example of Amazon's recommendation oriented expansion of search technologies, this one is a gem. Essentially, Amazon is now mining books to discover the phrases that distinguish one book from another. From what we can tell, the service is still pretty well under wraps.

Notably, links to the subject from A9 search results go to pages with no mention of the subject.

This is technology that we'll be seeing in the ATS/Job Board Marketplace very rapidly. Certainly indeed.com's early partnership with A9 portends favorable things. The idea that a person, article, body of work, resume or job ad has a distinctive linguistic fingerprint is as old as Resumix (RIP). The new twist is that instead of inventing libraries of related terms, they can be discovered in the actual data.

Anyone with a modest taste for the Business Book of the Month (How 'bout Gladwell's Blink?) will understand that a book can be seen as composed of unique characteristic phrases. Re-engineering, Management By Just Walking Around, Tipping Point, Total Quality and a thousand others simply roll off the tongue.

We'd love to see a comparative study of, say, Monster's resume database and the business bestsellers of the past 20 years. We're certain that the path of SIPs between resumes and books reveals a huge new way to segment resume data. We're equally certain that some companies do not want to hire people who adhere to a certain set of business beliefs while others want to make certain that the candidate is up to speed on a certain mindset. This could easily be filtered with SIP tools.

Variations of this linguistic study could and should be applied to specific disciplines and industries within those disciplines. Although indeed seems to be pointing the way, it should be no real problem for Monster or Yahoo to generate pretty flexible industry standards that facilitated the micro-distribution of job ads to small centers of relative content.

The idea, as we've been saying, is to make search into a discovery process; to wake the potential in Recruiting Departments; to create positive innovative energy inside of brain dead functionality.

John Sumser

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