"MSN is hiring human search engines!". I think this is the best i can describe about it.
Surprised? mee too.
We had been seeing that in the last 1 year MSN had been trying so hard to keep their shares in search business. However we see that every month their search traffic kept going down and down. We also see that microsoft did all the best it can do from hiring the best people to trying to alter its search business strategy. But nothing really helped.
What next? Hire a few "fast typists" and sit them in a backoffice and fire search manually (into Google???) and send the result back to user?
Look at the MSN hiring page under section Hand crafted Results. It says ".... When all else fails, and the ranking algorithms do not pass the confidence threshold, we fall back to delivering handcrafted results. Working on a team of approximately 132 other handcrafters in 26 worldwide markets, you will receive a user query, use all the available search engines to quickly scour the web for results, pick the top 10 results for this query, and send it on to the user ...."
It looked odd at the first glance. But the more and more I thought about it, I see it is an example of an elegent management. When things go wrong, it is very important that a management can take the right decision to keep things going. The result is important. The means does not matter (atleast in this business).
I am wondering, if this approach succeeds, MSN might hire 1 million people to sit at the back office and serve all the user queries.
But if the back office employees are busy i might get a message "All our search officers are serving other customers. Please try after some time by clicking the "refresh" button of your browser. If you are in a hurry, please try at google" :-)
And may be, after a few quarters, the market of search officers (typists) might increase. Microsoft will add a new certification - Microsoft Certified Search Officer or Microsoft Certified Typists.
I am going to improve my typing speed. Are you? :-)
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