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"Where'd it Go?": How People Ask After Lost Web Information

Jaime Teevan

(Submission #69)


Summary

This paper investigates the way people described the difficulties they encountered when returning to information on the Web. It presents analysis of Web pages, collected via a Web search, where the phrase, "Where'd it go?" was used. A number of interesting observations arose from this analysis, including that the path originally taken to get to the information target is commonly referred to during its re-retrieval, and that the temporal aspects of when the information was last seen were only important when considered relative to other events. While people expressed frustration when problems re-finding arose, an explanation of why the change had occurred was often sufficient to allay that frustration, even in the absence of a solution. The implications of these observations for systems that support re-finding in dynamic environments are discussed.

  


  
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