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Patent pending: Network-based classified information systems.

From: Dudley Mills <dudmills@ozemail.com.au>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 14:16:36 +1100
Message-ID: <34EA5294.76C5@ozemail.com.au>
To: www-talk@w3.org
Improving Web Searchability.

Typically, when people want to find a nearby provider of a product or
service, they pick up the local yellow pages telephone directory book.
If they want to find a person or business, they use the white pages
telephone directory book. In a library they use a subject calatogue or
browse books on shelves in a subject area.

The web offers a lot to savvy searchers but fails on these more prosaic
With your help I aim to change that. Please have a look at:

To give some indication of what I am aiming for compare the processes of
finding a nearby suitable motor vehicle repairer using:
1. a web search engine,
2. an online yellow pages database, and
3. your local yellow pages book.

Getting useful results from the search engine probably took a fair
amount of fiddling with the search criteria and resulted in few relevant
hits, lots of irrelevant hits and an unknown number of misses. Repairers
do not advertise on the web for just that reason. They know that
spending a $1,000 each year on an advertisement in the yellow pages is
worth much more than spending, once only, $1,000 on a web site even if
the web site content is better.

The yellow pages database probably gave a better result because you
were able to limit the search to the category "motor vehicle repairer"
and the nearby geographic area. For some businesses who paid for the
service, you may see display advertisements taken from your local yellow
pages book or links to web pages. However, for most businesses you
probably only saw a name, address and telephone numbers and no details
to help you select the right repairer for you.

The yellow pages book probably gave the best result in terms of
completeness and detail but you probably spent a lot of time scanning
for a repairer who claimed to have the particual skills you need such as
experience with a particular brand of vehicle. You probably also spent
a lot of time working out which of the more suitable repairers were
near enough to you.

In my patent I have tried to provide web searching technology which
can automatically build yellow pages, white pages and library subject
catalogue like search engine databases from web pages containing simple,
easily understood and structured classification, contact and geographic
data which is largely compatible with legacy web browsers.

Whether this patent is granted or not is immaterial to the adoption of
the technology disclosed in the patent. What is needed is much improved
web searching. To be the slightest use, the technology I disclose in my
patent must be adopted widely. Realistically, therefore, any licensing
costs and fees must not be a significant factor in whether or not the
technology is adopted.

Whether you think my ideas are good, bad or indifferent, I would like
your comments. Surely we can improve web searchability without making
web page construction difficult?

Dudley Mills,
30 Hutchison Crescent, Kambah, ACT 2902, Australia.
phone/fax: +61-2-6296-2639
Received on Tuesday, 17 February 1998 22:17:35 UTC

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