TREC will have a blog track again in 2007 following up on the 2006 track on opinion extraction in blogs. During the TREC blog workshop, several proposals were made for a track on blog spam detection (including ours and one from NEC Laboratories America) as well as some other tasks. Groups that want to participate in TREC need to apply by 20 February. See the 2007 TREC CFP for details.
Since 1992, TREC has been fostering research to enable more powerful, faster and easier-to-use technologies for information retrieval. TREC 2007 will focus on seven tracksâ€”including a blog track, to explore information seeking behavior in the blogosphere, and a legal track to develop search technology to help the legal profession find information pertinent to a case in digital document collections. For each TREC, NIST provides a test set of documents and questions. Participants run their own retrieval systems on the data and return to NIST a list of the retrieved top-ranked documents. NIST pools the individual results, judges the retrieved documents for correctness, and evaluates the results. The TREC cycle ends with a workshop in November that is a forum for participants to share their experiences.
Last year was the first time that I was involved with a TREC effort and I found it to be very worthwhile. Harrowing at the end, but well worth it — there is nothing like an impending deadline and the growing chance of looking like an idiot to your friends and colleagues to get the adrenaline flowing.