Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New Amazon.com Features: Search Inside the Book

I have just noticed that Amazon has some new features generated by their ability to work electronically with the texts of entire books. Excerpt from the description Search Inside the Book:

a. First sentence: The first sentence of the book is displayed below the book’s title and in the "Inside this book" section.
b. SIPs: These are the most distinctive phrases in the text of the book. They are displayed below the book’s title and in the “Inside this book” section. Click on a SIP to view a list of books in which the phrase occurs. You can also view a list of references to the phrase in each book
c. Sample pages: These pages (Excerpt, Front and Back Cover, Index, Table of Contents) are displayed in the mouseover and the "Inside this book" section.
d. Citations: If a book cites two names of books or is cited by two books, then those books are displayed with the pages where the citations occur.
e. Books on related topics: We determine that two books discuss similar topics when they have the same SIP. The more SIPs the two books share, the more closely related they are.
f. Concordance: Concordance is an alphabetized list of the most frequently occurring words in a book, excluding common words such as "of" and "it." The font size of a word is proportional to the number of times it occurs in the book. Clicking on a word displays a list of book excerpts containing that word.
g. Text stats: This is a collection of fun stats including readability indices and complexity stats.

One additional feature not mentioned here is Capitalized Phrases.

Am I the only one who is noticing people (or companies anyway) are becoming more interested in parsing texts rather than reading them?

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