Sponsored Introducing: Threadloom Community Search

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Threadloom

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Hi everyone-

We’re a new sponsor here on TAZ (thanks, Sandman, for onboarding us!). I’ve been following TAZ the past year as an individual member, and have really enjoyed the learning and helpfulness within the community. Some of the discussions helped influence my current project, which I wanted to share about.

Last year, 3 of us (former Google software engineers and product manager) started a new company called Threadloom. Our goal is to build the best search and analytics engine for forums. You can read more about our backstory here.

We recently launched our Threadloom Community Search alpha with Windsor Peak Press on vBulletin. Our website has more details, but some highlights include:
  • Modern UI
  • True real-time indexing
  • Continuously improving ranking
  • Easy installation (<5 min.)
  • Small resource footprint
And we’re adding new features every few weeks.

We’re planning to select a few more sites for our beta, incl. a XenForo site. If you’re interested, feel free to sign up on our website or PM me if you have any questions.

Thanks!

Paul


Screenshots of TCS on WindsorPeak.com

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afarm2.staticflickr.com_1604_25058284265_d6d10e19eb_k.jpg
afarm2.staticflickr.com_1599_24431423423_f6e47ef228_h.jpg
 
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Threadloom

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Can I use this on VB4?

What about xenforo?
We launched our alpha with a vB 4.x plug-in, which means it works on at least 1 vB 4.x site - can't make any promises yet across all 4.x sites. :) But we'd like to add another vB 4.x site to our beta to harden our vB plug-in, as well as a XenForo site to test our XF adapter. If you're interested, I put up a sign-up form on our website.
 

Joeychgo

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Nice blog post Threadloom, I would like to know more, especially about when you expect to have xf plugin
 

Empire

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Few issues with ThreadLoom. Please respond to these allegations (Lol don't mind that word, just making it dramatic)

- I looked at the demo. it seems it does not have all the options like vBulletin search. There was no option to search for posts by specific username, or to search only the new posts and threads etc.

- Thread loom search looks like they off-load the indexing and searching to their own server. It can breach the privacy of our hidden sections.

- Any new search engine will require re-indexing millions of our existing posts.

- For what reason is this software made? Normally members participate in topics and such. Not everyone uses search all the time?
 
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Threadloom

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What is the difference between TCS and Sphinx?

Yes I know Sphinx sounds like an Egyptian mummy lol what else?

https://marketplace.digitalpoint.com/sphinx-search-for-vbulletin-4.870/item

Theres another 1 above.
I don't want to underestimate the cool factor of Egyptian history. :) There's a section on our site that compares TCS w/ Sphinx. Briefly, IMHO, the 3 main differences are:
  • TCS produces higher-quality results. Sphinx speeds up search, but doesn't improve search quality – it's still full text search.
  • TCS is easier to install and doesn't consume significant local server resources or require maintenance. So, say there's a popular event, like the launch of a new product that's producing a lot of site search traffic, TCS automatically scales to meet demand – you don't need to provision add'l resources.
  • TCS includes modern search features, some that are in the alpha now (responsive UI, aggregate filters like top forums), and others that are coming later (suggestion-based queries, related searches). Sphinx doesn't offer this.

Few issues with ThreadLoom. Please respond to these allegations (Lol don't mind that word, just making it dramatic)

- I looked at the demo. it seems it does not have all the options like vBulletin search. There was no option to search for posts by specific username, or to search only the new posts and threads etc.

- Thread loom search looks like they off-load the indexing and searching to their own server. It can breach the privacy of our hidden sections.

- Any new search engine will require re-indexing millions of our existing posts.

- For what reason is this software made? Normally members participate in topics and such. Not everyone uses search all the time?
Thanks for the questions, Striving.
  • You can search by user, but you're right, we aren't trying to replace Advanced Search yet which is why the UI includes a link to it. When we looked at % of searches made using basic vs. advanced search, 99% fell into the 1st bucket. So our 1st goal is to make basic search work really well. We'll also bake some advanced features into basic search, e.g., tag restricts, etc.
    • In the alpha, you can restrict searches to a specific user by searching for "user:{username} {query term}". So, for instance, if you're looking for all posts written by the user elektra about loft beds, you can type "user:elektra loft bed" (or you can view the latest searches for a user by clicking on their name in a search result, which will re-query for the latest posts by that user).
    • In the alpha, you can query for new posts like this, but I think there are some benefits with the vBulletin UI and we have a few other ideas we want to discuss with our beta customers first.
  • We do serve from our system, which is built on a combination of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft infrastructure. We don't surface private/hidden content, and we plan to add permission-based search results in our beta.
  • We index all posts, but the CPU and memory required for indexing is consumed on our servers, not your local servers, so there is no impact on site operations. We also index in real-time, so new posts are indexed within a few seconds.
  • This TAZ thread does a better job than I could describing the need for better site search. In addition, we've found that visitors who perform a site search have session times that are up to 15x longer than those who don't.
 

Digital Doctor

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I could write a book about how horrible forum searching is.
Xenforo made no progress in improving forum searching.
Google is much better than forums themselves for search.

As an example that Xenforo doesnt take searching seriously ... the searches themselves aren't even logged. :morganna:

Ouch.

Almost no chance of Xenforo 2.0 debuting with improved search (reason: other priorities.).

Threadloom ... no Xenforo plugin ? Ouch. vB4 is dead.
 
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