WebFountain, the Long Version "So how does WebFountain make answers to such complex and specific queries possible? Short answer: A lot of hardware and a shitload of metatags. Longer answer: WebFountain does more than index the web, then serve up results based on keyword matches and some clever algorithms. Sure, it indexes the web, but once the pages are crawled, WebFountain goes several steps beyond consumer search engines, classifying those pages across any number of crucial semantic categories. (Yes, IBM is active in the semantic web conversation, and has published several specs on this in the public domain). Using natural language and machine learning technology, along with a host of structured data cross-references (such as public company databases or, perhaps, a client’s proprietary database of industry terminology), WebFountain basically re-structures the web, making it accessible to a client’s queries."
"As I mentioned earlier, IBM’s model for WebFountain is platform-based. Assuming they can pay the freight, most anyone can develop for it, using a standard API that leverages simple web services. IBM won’t disclose most of its customers, but two it will mention are Semagix, which has a (pretty damn frightening) money laundering application, and Factiva, which has developed a “reputation manager” - think of it as Technorati on steroids for the serious corporate marketing or legal department. (Imagine being able to find any mention of your product or service anywhere on the web and create custom filters for the context, location, date, author, and relationships attached to those mentions, in near real time.)"