Slow News Day Thoughts: the death of search, the decline of digg, and blogger credibility
Today was an excruciatingly slow news day in the tech world.
There was the bad Microsoft video that was just an internal joke (or was it?); a company that pretended to make Mac clones but seems to be a complete fraud (thank God somebody still does some investigative journalism); Alexa is tweaking its algorithms; and somebody got fired from Valleywag…
But there were a few interesting stories that I thought were interesting:
The Decline and Fall of Tech on Digg (RWW – great graphs in that story): I used to love digg, but these days, I only check it once or twice a day. It’s not so much that the tech stories are not on the frontpage (hey – they have a tech section for that), but I don’t enjoy the community over there. Digg is now my standard source for odd and strange news. The Tech news on there I have usually seen before it hits digg anyway.
Does Negativity Deliver Credibility? If So, That’s Nuts (Louis Gray): Louis is wondering if writing mostly positive reviews on his blog means he loses credibility (in response to a comment by Marshall Kirkpatrick on FriendFeed – all in good jest, btw.). Here is the comment I left on Louis’ blog:
“I think credibility simply comes from not letting your readers down. It has little to do with writing positive or negative reviews or the ration between the two – as long as your honest (and you are!), it doesn’t matter.”
Also, if somebody was just writing fake positive reviews (think PayPerPosties), your audience would never take that blogger serious anyway – people have pretty good BS sensors.
Search is Dead (Popular Mechanics):
Update: for a good, in-depth post about this, also see Alexander van Elsas’ Social “search” will not kill web search.
From the Popular Mechanics article:
“Search, as we know it, is dead.” What he means is that, with the rise of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Second Life, LinkedIn and even Google’s own Orkut, the next generation of Web users may find what they want by using their social network rather than a search algorithm. After all, the people in your online social network should know you better than a mathematical equation, right?
This prediction assumes that my friends are not only all Internet wizards but also that I would never want to know anything that my friends aren’t experts in. Neither one is true. The reality is, though, that I use search to tap into other people’s social networks. For example: when my processor overheats, I do a search and almost inevitably end up in a forum where a group of ‘friends’ has discussed this exact topic already (down to the model numbers for the processor and cooler) and found a solution.
And then there is also a whole echo-chamber problem associated with this. Do I really just want to ask my friends for advice? Social networks are great, but they won’t replace regular search anytime soon.