A quick run with Serendip-o-matic

I just ran my announcement of our book through the #owot Serendip-o-matic serendipity engine.

It took the text of my post, and extracted these key words:

book, digital, writing, online, process, project, students, things, us, wanted, going, historian, nervous, one, programming.

I wondered if the selected keywords changed each time, if there was a bit of fuzziness to the extraction routine.  The image results this second time looked different than the first (more digitally than booky the second time, more bookish the first time than digital), but the results from the ‘save’ button were the same:

So, for pass one:

  1. Writing 2.0: Using Google Docs as a Collaborative Writing Tool in the Elementary Classroom: http://thoth.library.utah.edu:1701/primo_library/libweb/action/dlDisplay.do?vid=MWDL&afterPDS=true&docId=digcoll_uvu_19UVUTheses/609. From DPLA.
  2. Effectiveness of an Improvement Writing Program According to Students’ Reflexivity Levels: http://preview.europeana.eu/portal/record/9200102/F5795175AA2BAED57402D982C774072FE21364BF.html?utm_source=api&utm_medium=api&utm_campaign=iiecvYL4T. From Europeana.
  3. Students in the incubation room at the Woodbine Agricultural School, New Jersey: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36988361@N08/4296232936/. From Flickr Commons.
  4. Impossible things [book review]: http://thoth.library.utah.edu:1701/primo_library/libweb/action/dlDisplay.do?vid=MWDL&afterPDS=true&docId=digcoll_byu_12CBPR/201. From DPLA.
  5. Let The Feeling Flow: http://preview.europeana.eu/portal/record/2023601/F8C732E3D49AC67D886564EC78D0E37F02617C72.html?utm_source=api&utm_medium=api&utm_campaign=iiecvYL4T. From Europeana.
  6. Student reading to two little girls. Photographed for 1920 home economics catalog by Troy.: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30515687@N05/3856396957/. From Flickr Commons.

For pass two: – well, lots of different stuff, some overlaps, but a glitch meant that my results didn’t get saved.

Pass three: these words extracted- book, digital, writing, online, process, project, students, things, us, wanted, going, historian, nervous, one, programming. Same words, different order; but there were many different images from passes 1 and 2, while some images stayed the same. The ‘save’ page brought up the list above.  If I was serious about saving, I’d try to push from the results page into Zotero; in any event, after five workdays, this is a hell of a neat piece of work!  For contrast, let me take those keywords that serendipomatic extracted, and run them through google. Three results:




So serendipomatic is the winner, hands down! Putting the keywords* extracted via natural language processing into google really highlights how google works: it exactly points to the post with which we began. And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why Google, for all its power, is not the friend to research that you might have thought. Google is for generating needles; Serendipomatic is for generating haystacks, and it does it well. Well done #owot team!

*putting the whole text generated an error: Error 414 (Request URI too large!) Sorry google, didn’t mean to break you.

3 thoughts on “A quick run with Serendip-o-matic

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