Published: November 22, 2012 - 01:00

What is semantic content integration or information pairing?

Interview with Christian Muntwiler, M.A. HSG, Director, Management Trainer at St. Galler Business School & Senior Consultant at the St. Galler Management Institute by Michael Moon, CEO, GISTICS.


Michael Moon: Would you explain information pairing, or semantic content integration, the ability to aggregate content from multiple sources (websites, blogs<, BBS forums, wikis, FAQ knowledge bases, and project rooms), making it look like a collection of relevant web pages and linked digital files like as one integrated body of knowledge.

Christian Muntwiler: Sure that’s easy. When you use a web search engine, you get search-driven content (in the form of a search engine results page also called SERPs). But these pages look like search-driven content. Users think, “Oh, that was easy”. However it is only simple summary page, and usually for many thousands to a million or so possible pages.

search engine results page

Caption: The image above depicts a common  will typically include paid links and AdWords with several thousand to millions of pages.

At St. Galler, our goal is to give our first-time visitors and customers to our websites the experience that we have personalize every bit of information to each user. So, behind our home page or landing pages, everything else is search-based content in the form of a stylized results summary page.

We use Mindbreeze InSite to create the experience of a personalized website and to market our rather large catalog of seminars. Inside the website, users can quickly scan summaries of our executive seminars and workshops. These summaries are 100% search-based. We do not have to change any webpages or search-result pages to give individual users a personalized experience of our seminar catalog.

Stankt Galler Business School Homepage

Caption: the image above the depicts a three-dimensional search results page using Mindbreeze InSite. Guided navigation includes  user-definable search tabs and semantic facets derived from concept mining of all pages and documents within the search results.

These dynamic summaries provide a brief description of the seminar, using our page stylesheet templates and related widgets and information banners. It is all integrated in the experience of using our website.

Information pairing describes a technical feature of Mindbreeze that automatically “pairs” or mashes up different information blocks from all of our websites, even from outside websites into brand-styled summaries. Information pairing also takes away a lot of the work that involves labor-intensive work associated with information design, information architecture and website architecture.

Our content creators just focus on creating, information to sign, blocks of content without having to think about navigation, page hierarchies, and search engine optimization. And that saves a lot of time.

Michael Moon: So, if I understand you right, Mindbreeze InSite uses semantic search technology to build these search-driven pages—content summary pages—that link directly to tens or hundreds of webpages or content blocks. It builds these summary pages using your standard page templates and styling. This produces the effect of formatting hand-built summary pages.

As a consequence of search-driven content assembly—summary pages— the value focus of content shifts of these summary pages. Users will get more value of using these summary pages than any one web page…that users want 10x to 100x more content summarized in a single search results page. This gives users multidimensional high-level summarization of many different avenues that the individual might pursue. This has the effect of adding a third dimension to information—where the third dimension consists of facets or topics that might guide the user to pages or resources based on conceptual relevance and not just a matching of keywords?

Christian Muntwiler:    Exactly! We always have two options. In the first option, a user executes a website search using a keyword in the Mindbreeze Search Box. This produces a summary page with guided navigation, search tabs, and semantic facets—meaningful keywords that Mindbreeze extracts from all of the relevant concepts from the associated web pages and documents.

So, each keyword becomes a topic or a search-within-the-search result, speeding a drill-down discovery process. These search tabs, faceted searches, and drilldown represent the third dimension of information.

In the second option, we create a stored procedure as a search-results page, using popular search-navigation patterns that transform a three to five-click process into a single-click option or web widget. This gives us great opportunities to control and guide the customer to what we already understand that a significant number of customers want: show seminars by topic, date, skills required, location, venue, length, price, etc.

As we continue to develop better profiles of customers and their needs, we will create one-button or single-click navigations of what we might call next-best actions within a customer engagement life cycle model.

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