Posts about search

A Dabble do ya

Mary Hodder, one of the most respected thinkers of the blog world, has launched her new company, Dabble. It’s a video search across many sites and a place where you can find the good stuff. In that sense, it is just what I was saying the world needs this morning: network 2.0.

Guardian Column: Newspapers and search

My latest Media Guardian column — this one about the foolish publishers trying to shut themselves off from Google … and thus the public — is up here (and here). A snippet:

The World Association of Newspapers is portraying Google as an enemy of news. I wouldn’t say that. I’d call Google something between a necessary evil and a friend – and if news organisations are smart, they will learn how to befriend the beast. …

At this month‘s Online Publishers Association conference in London, WAN managing director Ali Rahnema asked: “Could this content exist if someone else wasn’t paying to create it?” Well, in the quaint Americanism of my hillbilly roots, I’d say Rahnema got this bassackwards. Instead, we soon will be asking, “Could this content exist if someone else wasn’t linking to it?”

Many miniGoogles

I’ve been arguing for sometime that the real competitor to Google will not be the next big thing but lots of little things, like Oodle, for job search and now see more specialized searches at Kosmix for health (it’s prett good), travel, and politics. [via TechCrunch]

News: The new order

Susan Crawford, bearer of one of the most dazzling brains online, has perfect advice for the old-media people who think search is an enemy. European publishers complained about Google making money off “their content” when the truth is that Google is sending prospective members to “their” communities if only they were ready to welcome them. Susan says:

What Google does is respond to search queries by providing snippets — thumbnail pictures and a line of text here, a line from a page there, a headline — and helping people get to where those things were posted. That’s pointing, not copying, and it’s a key element of Web 2.0.

The publishers, and the news agencies, are having trouble with this evolution — heck, they had enough trouble with Web 1.0, much less the groupness we’re seeing now– and are relying on incumbent laws (like copyright law) to protect their ability to charge for content.

But there’s a great opportunity here that shouldn’t be missed: news companies can become not only providers of great stories (well-researched, well-written, unlike blog posts) but also sources of order. There is so much information now — we need help! We need priority, and sense of impact, and sense of global connections. We need visualizations, and links, and commentary. All of these things are valuable. We’ll pay — with our attention, our loyalty to the brand, and maybe even with money if the reporters’ own personalities are allowed out to play.

A search engine, alone, can’t provide this kind of judgment. Not even Google can say which story is likely to have an important impact on our collective future. There is a Web 2.0 model for publishers, and they can only get there by letting go.

I think it’s about order and also about relationships, about connecting people to information and each other.