Saturday, November 29, 2008

Global search vs Friend recommendations

Our suburb was hit with a power-cut while I was writing this, I'm putting it up so I don't forget I was thinking about this stuff

Pull, not push.
If the over-abundance of information in our lives continues to grow (and the trends point to 'hell, yes'), will my unique tastes be lost in the noise? Or will Google come to know me better than any individual ever will?
Already I see a degradation in the signal to noise ratio in my search results compared to when I first started using Google years ago. Considering that Google has only gotten better at search, the conclusion I must draw is that there is simply more noise (or perhaps my tastes have become more niche, but I doubt it).
Google can compare my past search topics, but can it reliably extrapolate into the future as I learn to like new things? Now I'm not just talking about tightly semantically related topics ('turkey dinner' - 'roast duck' 'cranberry sauce suppliers'), but linkages that are unique to me ('turkey dinner' - 'turducken' 'smallpox blanket' 'agricultural eugenics trends'), and links that I would not think of myself, yet that I would like. Things that are unique to me now, or tomorrow; but differ from most people of my demographic, or different *

Push, not pull.
How well do your friends know your tastes? "No Mum, I would not look good in that tie"
Potentially less of a privacy hurdle - you expect your friends to know you very well, Google, not so nice, just a little creepy perhaps.

* The power-cut strikes! For extra points, tell me what I was about to write, cos I forgot.

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