RealNames Expands Namespaces
RealNames has introduced three new namespaces to demonstrate what it hopes will become common place for companies: the creation of custom RealNames databases to serve their various searching needs.
The new databases allow anyone using the RealNames system, such as through AltaVista or via RealNames-enabled software, to search for US income tax forms, US Securities and Exchange Commission filings and US Patent information.
To find tax forms, simply preface the form number with "IRS." For instance, you could enter "IRS 1040" into AltaVista, then select the RealNames link that appears at the top of the results page. That would take you to where you can get a copy of a 1040 form on the Internal Revenue Service web site.
SEC information works similarly. Enter "SEC" followed by a company name, and you'll be taken to a list of filings for that company. For instance, entering "SEC Amazon" into AltaVista and then selecting the RealNames link would take you to a list of filings by Amazon.
To retrieve patent information, use the words "US Patent" followed by the patent number you are interested in.
In all these cases, what's happening is that the RealNames system is simply passing on your query to another search service. For instance, using SEC tells RealNames to send whatever words appear after SEC to the SEC's EDGAR database.
Likewise, it is possible for RealNames to have any number of custom namespaces that pass queries to other search services in this way. For example, entering "yahoo travel agents" could cause you to get results from Yahoo for "travel agents." Or, entering something like "amazon tom clancy" could take you to Amazon results for a search on the author Tom Clancy.
Both those examples are fictional at the moment, but the Amazon one might not be that unlikely. "We did meet with [Amazon CEO” Jeff Bezos last week, and he was amazed. He was very excited about the possibility," said Centraal's CEO Keith Teare, whose company runs the RealNames system.
Already, one company has already signed up for a custom RealNames namespace. An official announcement will come later this month, Teare said.
There's also a new RealNames service aimed at individuals. "My RealName" allows anyone to register for a free name. All that's required is that they have a web page hosted by a qualifying community site, such as GeoCities.
The service will be formally announced later this month, but you can register a name or a nickname right now. Just follow the instructions via the link below.
RealNames Ramps Up
The Search Engine Report, Feb. 2, 1999
More information about RealNames can be found in this recent article, which also links to further background information.
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