If Search is the Past, Blogging the Present, what is the Future?

by phil on Saturday Oct 25, 2003 11:23 AM

Slate gets all giddy about Amazon.com's new "search books" feature..

What is the purpose of search engines..

We tend to think of search requests as generally taking the form of "find me something I've never seen before." But real-life search is often different: You're looking for something you have seen before, but you've somehow mislaid or only half-remembered. You search for your glasses or your car keys. Or, in the case of books, you search for that paragraph about the Russian revolution's impact on literacy rates that you read somewhere a few years ago. You know it's in a book somewhere on your shelf, you just can't remember which one.

When you search, you already have an object in your imagination. Therefore, Google is more of a memory-retrieval aid and supplement for the global and individual mind. As for discovering new information? I like StumbleUpon's approach.

If Google has mastered the process of retrieving the past, and if Blogger has mastered the meditation on the present, what tool will master the future? StumbleUpon is a nice start, but I see an opporunity here.

Also, if Google tries to use personalized results as a way of suggesting things you might like as a feature of its "search," it will clutter this... since Google is rarely used for "surfing" and more for reference.

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