Explicit User Input: The Future of Web Search

July 17, 2008

TechCrunch has an intriguing Web log post called “Is This the Future of Search?” After scanning the text, watching the video, you will want to read the comments to this post. I find it difficult to summarize multi-media Web log posts. My take is that Google is showing some users a Digg-like interface; that is, a user can provide input with a click about the value of a result, add a link, and with little effort on Google’s part, provide a full complement of user input functions. With the acquisition of JotSpot, Google can out Digg Digg with a user creating in the midst of a query or other Google action a “new” Web page. I provided raw material for an Outsell analysis last year, and few took notice of Google’s ability to morph into a publisher. Digg-like features are a fraction of Google’s content acquisition and creation capabilities. Traditional publishers, are you tracking Google as a digital William Randolph Hearst?

Among the more than 100 comments is one that I think centers of what is going on. Ben writes:

Ouch. I’m betting Kevin Rose is wishing he cashed up when he had one of those many opportunities.
I’d be a little worried if I were Mr Calacanis also.

Based on my research, my view of these Digg-like features are a bit like a double-edged sword equipped with those nifty barbs and hooks like this:


Source: http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=9497

Here’s how I interpret Google’s Digg-iness:

  • Google wants to brandish a threatening weapon without actually striking anyone. This is digital saber rattling. Google shows strength, maybe intimidates or causes a competitor to think about selling or partnering with Google
  • The GOOG is pushing the tip of the sword into the flesh of a opponent, forcing the opponent to get out of the way. If the opponent does not move the way the Google Jedi wants, a quick thrust and twist ends the opponent’s life. Death comes but it is painful.
  • Googzilla is taking practice swings in order to use the cutting edge of its technology to hack its way through the social search opponents. Limbs and other digital body parts will be summarily removed as Googzilla stomps forward swinging the deadly blade.

I think the Digg-iness of Google is designed to position Google to buy one or more entities, force one or more entities to become partners in the manner of Nokia-Symbian’s sudden love affair with the GOOG, or outright war.

Stephen Arnold. July 17, 2008


One Response to “Explicit User Input: The Future of Web Search”

  1. No_limits86 on October 22nd, 2009 1:50 pm

    No longer are you describing the public option as a bureaucratic nightmare, but merely mildly inferior in a way that millions upon millions of Americans are willing to accept. ,

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