“Tim Bray”:http://www.tbray.org has written a very interesting “series of essays on the construction, deployment and use of search technology”:http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2003/07/30/OnSearchTOC. [via “Slashdot”:http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/12/18/1343202&mode=thread&tid=126&tid=156]
It’s a good overview of the world of search technology from a developer’s point of view. There’s still a very long way to go before search technology “matures”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/technology/2003_10/is_the_internet_your_source_of_knowledge.html. Seach engines are already shaping the way people use the internet, and depending on the way they develop, are going to be a very important part of shaping the way people think, sort of like how TV and the telephone made the world a smaller place, search engines are really going to shrink it down even further.
Not everyone has such a bright view of the future of the Internet:
bq.. When “the Internet” was unveiled to a doughnut-eating public a decade ago, we were promised unlimited access to vistas of encyclopedic knowledge. Every body would be connected to every thing, and we would never be short of an answer. What with the abundance of information, and the costs of transporting information approaching zero, the world would never be the same again.
Of course, a decade on, we know that real economics have prevailed. Information costs money. Those transport costs certainly aren’t zero. And faced with a choice of a million experts, people gravitate towards experts with a good track record: i.e., for better or worse, paid journalists, qualified doctors or other centers of expertise.
[…] So this leaves us with a question, which is how has the failure of “the Internet” to live up to its promise not been investigated in more depth? We’ve seen an economic bubble come and go, based on “the Internet”, but no one has really asked where the value went. So how come our “Internet” went AWOL, while we weren’t looking? Where did it go, exactly?
>> “A Quantum Theory of Internet Value”:http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/34586.html
p. The Internet *is* full of trash, and current search engines reflect that. Thats why many searches go awry, and researching a topic on the internet still takes hours and can be quite tedios. One can still hope though…