The social nature of Search 2.0


Richard MacManus has part 1 of a very nice overview of “Search 2.0” companies and technologies, written by Ebrahim Ezzy of Qube. There are many facets to this category of search, however to my mind almost all of them are social or collaborative in nature. Google of course already implements this through the way it aggregates user behaviors in its ranking. However you get the same results when you do a search on Google, whoever you are. Central to the next phase is that you start getting results that are relevant to you and your interests. While there are many approaches to this, I believe that doing this well is most likely to be based on understanding people’s profiles relative to their search and information usage patterns – in other words social networks and collaborative filtering. These approaches can be self-selecting, for example in forming peer groups to share search results, or through algorithms. However it is clear that effort must be minimized – several of the current generation of Search 2.0 are still require too much manual input. This whole space is just opening out now, and will take many years to evolve. But those who can truly help people get better search results in a world of infinite information, will undoubtedly do extremely well.