TECH TALK: The Future of Search: Perspectives (Part 3)

Bambi Francisco writes:

Our own content will likely dwarf what’s currently being created by large media and the traditional providers of information.

The abundant flow of digital information on the Web is thanks in large part to all of us who are creating it, from the plethora of blogs, e-mail correspondence, instant messages, to the ever-increasing amount of digital music, photos and videos.

As everything becomes digital, the need to organize the information becomes even more urgent. That’s why I believe that organizing our digital world is not a minor feature, as some have said about desktop searching. In fact, these features will be far more useful and addicting than we think.

In a digital world, there is no delineation between video, text, audio and voice. It’ll be delivered by anyone. What does it matter who’s bringing this information to me or giving me the platform to exchange information on?

Joe Wilcox (Microsoft Monitor): Search is one of several mechanisms (fast data connectivity is another) that could catalyst alternative platforms. Search would give tremendous utility to portable devices connected to the Internet or home or corporate networks. With so much computing focus on information and so much information stored somewhere else (meaning not locally), ubiquitous search could unify the utility of many disparate types of devices. For example, in the advancing communications era, a smartphone could offer Internet search, e-mail, instant messaging and even digital content capabilities like taking pictures without the need for a Windows PC So like Microsoft integrated the browser into Windows to fight off the threat posed by the Web, so the company is looking to tie the utility of search to its operating system. Because any technology utility where no Windows is required threatens Microsoft’s core franchise. And I’m betting some very smart people recognize that search is one of several utilities that could catalyst smaller devices into serious alternative platforms.

BBC News writes:

Search is not just about finding your way around the web. It is now about unlocking information hidden in the gigabytes of documents, images and music on hard drives.

For all these advances, search is still a clumsy tool, often failing to come up with exactly what you had in mind.

In order to do a better job, search engines are trying to get to know you better, doing a better job of remembering, cataloguing and managing all the information you come across.

“Personalisation is going to be a big area for the future,” said Yahoo’s Yonca Brunini.

“Whoever cracks that and gives you the information you want is going to be the winner. We have to understand you to give you better results that are tailored to you.”

This is perhaps the Holy Grail of search, understanding what it is you are looking for and providing it quickly.

John Battelle on his blog about what to expect in 2005: Mobile will finally be plugged into the web in a way that makes sense for the average user and a major mobile innovation – the kind that makes us all say – Jeez that was obvious – will occur. At the core of this innovation will be the concept of search. The outlines of such an innovation: it’ll be a way for mobile users to gather the unstructured data they leverage every day while talking on the phone and make it useful to their personal web (including email and RSS, in particular). And it will be a business that looks and feels like a Web 2.0 business – leveraging iterative web development practices, open APIs, and innovation in assembly – that makes the leap.

Tomorrow: Advertising and Innovations

TECH TALK The Future of Search+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.