It has recently come to my attention that the items I have uploaded/clipped to Polyvore cannot be found. On the 18th of September I sent the following email to Polyvore —

Seems with your latest update, people are no longer able to find my items via search. I realize you were trying to lessen the “noise” for me, but I had assumed it was a “tweak” to the interface, not making my items impossible for others to find.

It used to be that a simple search for “comcast trees” or “comcast.net trees” would return any trees that I had uploaded via my comcast.net account and had tagged as “trees” … or … if I created a query along the lines of http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/search.things?displayurl=comcast.net&tag=trees trees would show up … not anymore (I have had more than one person tell me about this).

If I had unlimited storage in my comcast account, I wouldn’t worry about this problem, I’d just leave everything up on the server so folks could find them there. But this is a personal (ie, free) account and I must continually delete things in order to upload more.

I received a response back almost immediately that it would be looked into.

On September 23rd, I was asked if I could send the links to some of my trees that I had uploaded via comcast.net, which I did the next day.

On September 28th, I asked if there were any updates for which I received this reply:

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

I think I have identified the problem and we are working on a fix.

The problem is that we currently treat products and backgrounds the same — as they get older (say clipped 1 year ago), they fall out of our search index (to make room for new images). The fix is to separate the aging parameters for products and backgrounds. Background images don’t really age as fast as products, so we are going to keep the ‘best’ background images in the index for much longer. ‘Best’ is influenced by how many people are saving / using them.

I hope to have it live by the end of the week.

Being the geek that I am, I decided to test out this “aging” for myself. If it were simply an aging problem, my more recent items could be found. So, using something that I uploaded on October 4th, I started searching for the item. The image below shows the results of my quest for a recent item (you’ll have to click on the picture to be able to read anything).

Two days after uploading the “Happy Birthday Furniture” item, I searched for “Happy Birthday Furniture” and got back nothing (1). I then tried searching for items using the tag name “furniture” (I tag ALL my items otherwise I’d never find them) and got back some results, but none (I stress NONE) of my items including the two day old item (2). I then tried searching for the url “comcast.net” filtering the results to just the past week and got back nothing (3). I then removed the filter and NONE of my items showed up in the results including those that were less than a year old. Finally, I figured I try searching on my profile name (jilbert) and was surprised to get back two items, neither of which were mine (4). What I did notice was that the items had my name as part of the item name. Unfortunately, I had tried doing that with some of my items when I first found out about the “problem” and none of those showed up in the results.

What I have been trying to do is create collections of items when requested so that they can be found. However, one must save the items to their stash (some folks don’t do this, actually a lot of folks don’t do this) because you cannot drag an item directly from a collection into the editor.

ANYWAY — The last I heard from anyone was on September 30th where I was sent a “quick note” that they were still working on the issue and that I should receive an update over the weekend. Sorry Poly, still haven’t gotten that update.

UPDATE: I am making an index of links to my collections and posting them on my comcast site — http://home.comcast.net/~jilbert/collections.html. This is a work in progress, so please be patient with me.