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Bill Bär (ˈbɛər)

Bill Bär (ˈbɛər)

Bill Bär is a Senior Product Manager and Microsoft Certified Master for Microsoft Search, Assistant, and Intelligence at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.


Search Notes, Verticals

STUB Verticals A search vertical only shows results of a certain type or from certain content. Examples are Files or News. By default, Microsoft Search shows the verticals All, People, Files, Sites, and News. You can add search verticals that are relevant to your organization that represent content indexed with one or more Microsoft Graph connectors. Microsoft Graph connectors The ‘All’ vertical contains high value entities to include, but not limited to:

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Bookmark Recommendations in Microsoft Search

Bookmark Recommendations Bookmark Answers in Microsoft Search provide the flexibility for you to curate and promote curated resources on top of ranked results to help guide users to authoritative resources. Bookmark Answers are designed to help employee’s way find the organization and quickly identify the best and most relevant resource curated by you or your organization such as authoritative sites or documents to satisfy the searchers’ intent. Examples of Bookmark Answers can include sites, documents, or even files such as the Human Resources site, policy document, or more.

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Acronym Answers in Microsoft Search

What are Answers in Microsoft Search? An Answer is a highly relevant and high confidence result that satisfies a user intent expressed as a query/question in search, presenting the most relevant information needed to get a job done and help users to faster task completion. An Answer is a way to address user intent. When searching, the user typically types in characters and keywords to express an intent. Recognizing the keywords that are triggers for specific intents is important, but it is even more important that the content that is shown in search satisfies the user intent.

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Demystifying Topic Answers

Since the announcement of Microsoft Viva on February 4, 2021, I’ve come across a lot of questions and conversations surrounding Topics, specifically Topic Answers, and what a Topic Answer is… In the past I’ve posted quite a bit on Answers and their relationship to Microsoft Search, whether File Answers, Acronyms Answers, or something else - see https://wbaer.net/2020/10/making-the-most-of-answers-in-microsoft-search/. To put simply, a Topic Answer, is just one of the many forms of “Answers” generated by Microsoft Search.

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Installing mkcert on Apple Silicon using brew

On occassion you’ll want or need to run your local development environment/site with HTTPS. For example, if your production site uses HTTPS, you may want your local development site to behave like an HTTPS site. I for one, like to aggressively diagnose any issues early in the development process before committing changes to production. Simply put, if you would like to use HTTPS with your local development site and access https://localhost or https://somedomain.

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Azure Machine Learning and Apple Silicon 101

Getting Started This will be the first part of multi-part series on setting up an Azure Machine Learning environment on Apple Silicon. In this series we’ll evaluate webmentions using Python and Jupyter. I purposely chose this arrangement as it’s something I’ve been working on over the past several weeks here on this site. At each part of this series, I’ll explain what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what we hope to accomplish.

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Taking forward back

Wow! It’s amazing to look back and realize it’s been exactly 19 years since I first registered this domain. Way back then, Opera and Netscape Navigator were the browsers of choice and many of us were still listening to the beautiful hum of our modems - animated GIFs were the equivalent of styrofoam cups…unavoidable, and Windows XP was just a few months old…perhaps most surprisingly Nickleback was leading the Billboard 100 with “How you remind me”.

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Now serving webmentions

Over the course of the past several weeks as I’ve made the transition from dynamic (WordPress) to static (Hugo), I’ve been looking at ways I could not only decentralize social, but also build that overarching objective into the fabric of this site. Here enters webmention, a W3C recommendation as of January 2017. So what exactly is webmention? Well, as defined by the W3C, webmention is a simple way to notify any URL when you mention it on your site.

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Getting started with Lunr.js and Hugo

A few weeks ago I posted on using Algolia Search with Hugo. As mentioned in that post, I currently use Lunr to serve the purposes of search on this site and am finally getting around to posting how to pull together the two. Lunr, unlike other search services, has no external dependencies and works either within the browser or on the server with node.js - at its core it’s a small, full-text search library for use in the browser.

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Transitioning from Authoratative Web Pages to Answers in SharePoint Online

As Authoratative Pages are scheduled to be deprecated in SharePoint Online, now is the time to start thinking about how to deliver similar functionality with Microsoft Search. For background, authoritative pages are those that link to the most relevant information as decided by the search administrator, specified as a URL. SharePoint search uses this list to calculate the rank of every page in the index. For example, if an administrator wanted to rank the companies HR site above ranked results, an authoratative page could be configured for https://contoso.

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