Mobile Search Is Not Objective: Is This a Surprise?

October 14, 2015

Running a query in a walled garden returns the flowers and trees in the walled garden. Maybe the garden owner has installed Chinese style pots with flowers from other gardens. Make no mistake. The garden is owned by a person who has an idea, however muddled, about what grows and what goes.

I thought about gardening when I read “Mobile Is Not a Neutral Platform.” The word “neutral” is an interesting one. Math is neutral. A numerical recipe is not necessarily neutral. Weeds growing in the median of I 95 may be neutral or at least hardy. Decisions about what orchids to put in a Nero Wolfe novel is not neutral.

The write up, in my view, shows a bit of wonderment with regard to what happens when the iPhone uses various Apple services or what the intent is when the Alphabet Google thing snags a user in its ecosystem. Think about the pitcher plant. Same idea, prey trapping.

The write up included this passage which I highlighted in Venus flytrap green:

Apple and Google keep making decisions, enabling or disabling options and capabilities and creating or removing opportunities.

I noted this comment as well:

But the deeper issue is that we haven’t just unbundled search from the web into apps – we’re now unbundling apps, search and discovery into the OS itself. Google of course has always put a web search box on the Android home screen (and indeed one could ask why there needs to be an actual browser icon as well) but this is much more fundamental.

Forget neutral. Forget objectivity. The online world has rolled back into the walled garden model. The issue, gentle reader, is control and money. That neutrality and objectivity yammer is, in my opinion, irrelevant. You want information unbiased and unfettered? You will have to work hard for that type of information. How will this go over with the online consuming folks?

Answer: About as well as expecting every visitor to the garden to read the information about Utricularia on a small plastic tag tossed amongs the bladderworts tended by Apple, Facebook, Google, et al.

And search? You may not know what you are missing, gentle reader. If a company is not on an Apple or Google map, does that company exist?

Stephen E Arnold, October 14, 2015


One Response to “Mobile Search Is Not Objective: Is This a Surprise?”

  1. email list validation free on October 14th, 2015 4:19 pm

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    Mobile Search Is Not Objective: Is This a Surprise? : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search

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