TECH TALK: The Future of Search: The Messy Web

Let us start by considering what Adam Bosworth wrote recently, describing a web John Battelle termed as the Messy Web. Here is what Adam Bosworth had to say:

I’ve been complaining about two things on the web for years. Think of the web as the worlds best communication machine. Then the promise should be that anyone can connect to any information or application or anyone else and that any application can connect to anyone or any application or any information. We got anyone to anyone early in the form of email and more recently in the form of IM and of Blogs. IM adds real time communication and presence and Blogs add broadcasting to the world along with a dialog with the world. We got anyone to any application from the esteemed Tim Berners Lee in the form of HTML, HTTP, and URL’s which changed our world. I say applications because there wasn’t any standard way to ask for information. We got, unfortunately, any application talking to anyone (we call this spam). Web services in one form or another are letting applications access other application although, as I’ve said elsewhere, I think that the standards are too prolix and that a lot of the action will come out of REST and RSS.

But we didn’t get two things. We didn’t get a standard way to get information (e.g. a standard query model for sites). And we didn’t get people working together in communities to create and construct things with one interesting exception, message boards/groups. Mail was the interface, not the web and not IM.

With [Amazons] Open Search the lack of standard ways to get information is, for the first time, beginning to change. There is now a simple but de-facto standard way to start querying sites for information. That’s hugely exciting. The current standard is limited, but a great start. And the web is now rapidly becoming the place for people to collaborate. Wiki’s are growing like wildfire. Folksonomies(tagging) are causing people to quickly and in an emergent bottoms up way, come together to build taxonomies that work for them and surprisingly rapidly become stable.

To get a glimpse of the future, one need look no further than Yahoos soon-to-be-launched Yahoo 360.

Tomorrow: Yahoo 360

TECH TALK The Future of Search+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.