Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Discovery, one thing leads to another

I recently read Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle on the recommendation of my kids and enjoyed it. I noticed, as one does, that it was also a 'major motion picture' and did a little research to see if the movie actually existed. I discovered that it did exist and wasn't just a publisher's embellishment on a blurb and that the animated movie by Hayao Miyazaki had been very well regarded. So I bought the film from Amazon.

A work colleague, with whom I'd been discussing Howl's Moving Castle turned out to be rather a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and I now have a loan of Spirited Away to watch.

I had also been rather intrigued by the Queen track Flash on my compilation CD and wondered what the 1980's movie might be like. I did a little research and decided to track it down on Amazon and now I have a copy to watch. At the time of writing I've watched the first 40 minutes and it is everything I expected!

As I reflected on this I was reminded of a presentation at the recent THETA conference titled From Search to Discovery presented by Mal Booth and Josh Vawdrey from University of Technology Sydney. I had liked in particular their elucidation of the spectrum of search (as very narrow and focused) to discovery (broad and exploratory) and the way they are developing their systems to provide richer discovery opportunities.

I thought my experience illustrates this nicely. I didn't start out wanting to get movies to watch but my reading and music led me in unexpected directions.

Discovery, one thing leads to another.


  1. My husband is a fan of Japanese anime and Hayao Miyazaki and I can also recommend My neighbour Totoro. It is interesting how serendipitous search can be. This is old, but Marcia J Bates wrote an article on online search behaviour, likening it to berrypicking. It's at http://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/berrypicking.html

    1. Thanks Steph for the recommendation,adding to my viewing list, and for the link to berry picking!

  2. I love Hayao Miyazaki, and Howl's Moving Castle is my favourite of his movies, I did not realise it was based on a book...Just added to my 'to-read' list.
    Great post, thanks!

    1. Hello Lauren, Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favourite authors and there are three excellent books in this series. I will be interested to see how the story has been treated by Miyazaki when I get to see the film.