CMSWire contributor of 2018, Miles Kehoe: "I was fascinated with the ability to search millions of documents in seconds — and I’ve been a search nerd ever since."

Miles Kehoe brings almost 30 years in the search industry to bear on his work with his New Idea Engineering clients and in his regular columns on CMSWire. As big a fan of enterprise search technology as Miles is, he knows that the solution to many business's search problems doesn't lie in layering on more solutions, but rather making the most of the solutions you have — complete with the required staff to maintain it.

He got his start in the industry in 1989 with early search company Verity and hasn't looked back since. When he isn't writing, reading or advising people about search, you can find Miles up in the skies, piloting a small plane.

'I'm a Search Nerd' 

Who are you, in a 280-character tweet? 

I’m a search nerd, enjoying the technology and work that I’ve been doing just about every day since I discovered the technology. An avid private pilot. An author of two books and hundreds of blog posts. Louisiana native living in California, planning a move to Colorado in the next year or two; and working to remain healthy to be there to celebrate my 100th birthday in the distant future.   

What attracted you to your field and what still excites you about it? 

A former manager of mine at HP went to work for early search company Verity. Even though I tend to be risk averse, I left my secure job to be among the early employees at Verity. I was fascinated with the ability to search millions of documents in seconds — and I’ve been a search nerd ever since. I started New Idea Engineering with a Verity colleague in 1996 and have been a fan and practitioner ever since. 

Now that search is tightly integrated with technologies like machine learning, and data sets have grown into “big data," search is more powerful, more innovative, and indeed more critical to nearly every type of organization. I still am fascinated by the technologies, the application and look forward to getting to help clients with these cool technologies every day.   

What project are you working on now that our readers should know about? 

In addition to my search practice, I’m honored to be part of The Search Network, a small international group of search experts originally brought together by my CMSWire colleague Martin White. We periodically publish free ebooks and white papers on enterprise search. Our next update should be available soon.   

What story/stories related to your field will you be following in 2019? 

There are a historically large number of companies (and open source projects) in the search and big data fields. I’m not sure if 2019 is the year when the thinning of the pack starts, but there are so many products based on Apache Lucene and Solr, it’s hard to believe the world needs all of these very similar products.   

What was your first paying job? 

That little-known secret was my experience flipping burgers one summer at small shop in Quogue New York, which convinced me that my parents were right, and that college and grad school were, indeed, in my future.     

Speed round! 

  • What word could you happily live without hearing ever again? “IMHO” 
  • What book are you reading now? "The Death of Expertise," by Tom Nichols and "Illusions," by Richard Bach (annual new year read for me) 
  • Favorite way to spend a day off? I’ve been a private pilot since grad school, and a great day would include begin airborne in a small plane somewhere along the California coast.
  • If you could go back in time, what period would you go to? While reading historical works is entertaining, I’m pretty happy having been born when I was — the actual date is classified. 
  • Quote to live by: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” — The Beatles