The Future is Discovery, not Just Search

April 25 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Media   Year: General   Rating: 7 Hot

Cross-posted from 20bits

Let’s start with a picture from Radar NetworksCEO Nova Spivack:


Erick Schonfeld, asking Is Keyword Search About to Hit its Breaking Point?, talks about Spivack’s view of the future of the web. According to him it lies ever-more-refined search technologies such as semantic search, natural language search, and artificial intelligence. A quote:

Keyword search engines return haystacks, but what we really are looking for are the needles . The problem with keyword search such as Google’s approach is that only highly cited pages make it into the top results. You get a huge pile of results, but the page you want—the “needle” you are looking for—may not be highly cited by other pages and so it does not appear on the first page. This is because keyword search engines don’t understand your question, they just find pages that match the words in your question.

Spivack wants to “do for data what the Web did for documents” and develop a standard, uniform system for semantic metadata. It’s the classic “dumb software, smart data” idea. Tagging works to a degree, but it’s neither uniform nor standard — the same tag can mean two different things for two different people, and two different tags can mean the same thing.

That said, the premise underpinning Spivack’s whole argument is that search will is the correct interface when faced with a world of exponentially-increasing information. His version of the future says, “Keyword search will become increasingly inefficient and the solution is to develop semantically-aware systems that search based on meaning, rather than content.” (cont.)

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Social Media is The Fifth Estate (Err, Duh)

January 20 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Government   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

How long before President Barack Obama refers to social media as the Fifth Estate?

When I sat down to write this timely piece about the role of social media in government I was hopeful that by calling it "The Fifth Estate" I was about to be somewhat clever and original.  Sheesh, was I wrong.  A quick search revealed that many bloggers and pundits have in fact been calling social media The Fifth Estate for a while now:

Search Results for The Fifthe Estate

There are in fact hundreds, if not thousands, of references to social media as The Fifth Estate that go back many, many years.

This of course has once again got me thinking that 1) there is truly no such thing as an original idea, especially on a planet inhabited by billions of meme processors all hooked into one global web, and 2) as innocuous as it may seem to us at any given moment, social media is truly a breakthrough phenomenon that is absolutely critical to convergent acceleration.

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