January 09, 2008

Very interesting article on the fact that there are no "neutral" markets or auctions (in the sense of not producing a prejudiced outcome)

Leads to and ties with a Tim O'Reilly on automated vs. human decision making

(hat-tip : SJ)

I'm not, myself, particularly entranced by all the "human improvements on automated search" (Mahalo, Knol, Squidoo) etc. I don't find myself thinking "I must find out about X but I don't trust Google to give me the right answer, I'll go and see if there are any experts over at ..." What I tend to do is start with Google, and find it's almost always sufficient for my requirements ... or at least starts me browsing in the right direction.

What Google *is* pretty lousy at is product recommendations (which is what so many of the rivals point out) but frankly going to a search engine and saying "what should I buy?" is pretty stupid. And ignores the fact that blogs do a pretty good job of that.

So I'm just not seeing all this "pain" that people claim to be having from Google being gamed by the SEOs.

Very obviously a PageRank type algorithm, even if it was working perfectly, wouldn't be the place to discover idiosyncratic, offbeat resources. The only way you're likely to find those is through a skilled editor / curator or interesting social network. But, again, blogs are already great for editor-curators. And maybe some other social networking services handle the social routing. In particular, one thing I'm noticing is that I'm getting a *lot* of good links flowing to me through Twitter.

Update : Wikia's problem is that no-one is going to understand it (I mean the process) in time for it to get useful or interesting.
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