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TECH TALK: The Future of Search: Web and Information Models (Part 2)

March 14th, 2005 · 1 Comment

Even before we get to constructing a new model for next-generation search, let us look at a few relevant pointers from others.

Andrew Nachison wrote:

[Theres been] a discussion thats been going of for years among professional journalists and mainstream media executives about the incalculable value of human editors and the inadequacies of a world experienced only through personalization systems powered by the content judgments of ordinary people rather than professional editors, or through algorithm edits of automated services such as Google News and Topix.

So the issues might be boiled down further:
1. Machines vs. humans?
2. Who profits from the exploding digital datastream?

And maybe there’s a third:
3. Who controls the datastream itself?

All information is digital, and from this emerges a limitless potential to parse, format and distribute it; but life is analog. The emerging challenge for society is to seek pathways that bridge growing volumes of data with real life, with humanity. This is why Im so hung up on the notion of a better-informed society.

Andrew also quoted Steve Gillmor: RSS has created a new kind of information overload, one where Newton Minnow’s vast wasteland of 500 empty channels has been replaced with a million channels of compelling information. RSS is about time, and RSS will win. Attention is about what we do with our time, and attention will win. Friends and family are about who we do it with, and we will all win.

Greg Linden of Findory added (in a comment on Andrew Nachisons post): We think it is too hard for readers to find the news they need. Readers with enough patience or need force themselves to skim tens of sources every day for news that impacts them and their daily lives. Many others resign themselves to remaining ignorant of daily eventsFindory aggregates news from thousands of sources and helps readers quickly find the news they need. Unlike other news aggregators, Findory is personalized, learning each reader’s interests, creating a different front page for each reader, and helping each person discover news they would otherwise missWe’re convinced that personalized news is a big step toward making news easier to read and keeping people well-informed.

Richard MacManus added: The control of content is in one sense moving very definitely towards the consumer, or reader (neither term seems to fit in this age of the read/write web!)RSS Aggregators and topic/tag feeds are two technologies that in a very real sense give power back to the user. I choose (by subscribing) what content flows into my Aggregator. I choose which of a million niche topics to track by RSS Google and Yahoo – and apps like Bloglines – are the main tools now for accessing the datastream. Their influence over the datastream is increasingly important.

Tomorrow: Web and Information Models (continued)


TECH TALK The Future of Search+T

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