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Recently I brought my young daughter a toy. It was a tiny plastic frog. Green
and dead. Quite as big as a thumbnail.

But it was no ordinary plastic frog. When put onto a table sooner or later it
starts to move. Slowly. Really.

My child was excited. She immediately inspected it the usual way, but:

    • no battery
    • no invisible threads
    • nothing obvious

So: could this be a true miracle? Something like in the Muppet Show on
TV where plastic frogs can move and talk even?


What is the trick? She asked, she screamed …  (with such
things my darling child is so much like me – she never gives up) …then threw
it onto the floor angrily (this she got from her mother) … and then it lay
there and didn’t move. Not a bit. Just a tiny dead green plastic frog.

Back on the table it recovered within a blink of an eye and mooooooved again.

Floor: dead,  Table: alive. Ahrgg!

What is the trick? It has to do with the table. Or something around
the table. Or someone. Someone around the table who obviously tries to hide
something in his hand.

“Hey Daddy, show me what’s in your hand!” …  ” A sweet
candy????”.  

It is so easy to fool a child. The magnet had vanished from my hand and was
deep within my pocket.

 I had a quite similar experience not long ago. It was during a
demonstration of SAP’s Knowledge Management Platform. It was about automatic News delivery.

Arbitrary News being entered popped up at the
right News channel as soon as the presenter counted 1-2-3. 

“Tell me what words I should type and which target category you
expect” he asked the audience and 1-2-3 he raised another cheer. 

What is the trick? I asked, I screamed!

    1. no battery
    2. no invisible threads
    3. nothing obvious

I looked for magnets. And – indeed – it was something similar. Some old
News already residing in a category attracted that new  News – like
magnets do. And the more old News already lingering within a News category
the stronger the attraction to new News was.


“This is what we call Example-Based Taxonomy” I heard the
presenter lecturing unemotionally. 


I would have called it magnetism, mesmerism, cool dead-frogism.  

Try it out by yourself. And if you do not believe in +Example-Based
Magnetism+ you can also assign a boring but safe query string to each category
that in turn then – “<Howl> – I will find you wherever you are
– captures every matching new News even before it can say “Aaaah”.


Result is rather the same. Only the Wow-effect differs. Cool anyway.

And this works perfectly for any other kind of document besides News as
well. But unfortunately not for hair loss. We’ll still work on it.


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