I’m among those that believe despite Google’s incredible power, the company may be on the verge of trouble as the quality of its bread and butter product (search) is showing some flaws and as it continues to show no ability to successfully adapt to the social media boom. In a post titled “Curation Is The New Search Is The New Curation,” Paul Kedrosky lays out an interesting view of where things are headed:
There are two things that can happen now. (Okay, three. We could stop search, which won’t happen.). We could get better algorithms, which is happening to some degree, with search engines like Blekko and others. Or, we could head back to curation, which is what I see happening, and watch new algos emerge on top of that next-gen curation again. Think of Twitter as a new stab at curation, but there are plenty of other examples.
Yes, that sounds mad. If we couldn’t index 100,000 websites in 1996 by hand, how do we propose to do 234-million by hand today?
The answer, of course, is that we won’t — do them all by hand, that is. Instead, the re-rise of curation is partly about crowd curation — not one people, but lots of people, whether consciously (lists, etc.) or unconsciously (tweets, etc) — and partly about hand curation (JetSetter, etc.). We are going to increasingly see nichey services that sell curation as a primary feature, with the primary advantage of being mostly unsullied by content farms, SEO spam, and nonsensical Q&A sites intended to create low-rent versions of Borges’ Library of Babylon. The result will be a subset of curated sites that will re-seed a new generation of algorithmic search sites, and the cycle will continue, over and over.