As of today, Google is the premier player in the world of search. Is the game over? I really doubt it; Google's big innovation - ranking pages by the degree to which they're pointed at - is clever, and it's hard to implement efficiently, but it's not that original; academic citation analysis has used this technique for a long time. So I think we'll see new search players coming along and grabbing market share away from Google based on one innovation or another. Obviously, I'm prejudiced, but I think that the area obviously crying out for innovation is the user interface; I am tired of seeing Results 1-20 of about 2382923452.

Because at the end of the day, Google's is operating on an unstated premise that when you do a search, everything on the Web can be ranked in a single list, with the important things at the top of the list. That's just not true.

The important material about, say, bicycles, falls into a bunch of different areas; how to buy them, how to stay alive riding them, how to race them, how to maintain them, and so on and so on. There just isn't one list of the right stuff; information is more than one-dimensional.

Here at Antarctica we think that going from one-dimensional lists to two-dimensional maps is an obvious step forward. Hmmm...


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
February 21, 2003
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