Friday, June 23, 2006

The End of Google?

In November 2003, I saw the writing on the wall for Google.
"Google will therefore support, with ever-greater efficiency and effectiveness, an intellectual activity characterized by A.A. Milne (author of Winnie-The-Pooh) as 'Thinking with the Majority'." [Google and God. See also Scribe's post Drawing Parallels]
Some more recent doomsayers for Google:
Jason argues that the quality of search results is being eroded by forces outside Google's control. Meanwhile, Igor thinks that "the information age – as aged and ill as it is now - isn't fading away fast enough".

But these voices are still in the minority. For the time being, Google is still the search engine of choice for the Internet Majority, for reasons explained by Sean McGrath: "The next best thing to knowing something, is knowing where to find it."

Sean avers that bookmarking is obsolete, because you can always use Google. He gives a few examples of his use of Google.
  • "I wonder is there a direct flight from Knock to Birmingham?"
  • "Where in the world is Myanmar?"
  • "Have Australia ever qualified for the Soccer World Cup?"
I agree that Google is okay for enquiries of this kind - although I'd probably prefer Wikipedia for two of them. But I'd regard these enquiries as information rather than knowledge.

According to Sean: "In a short space of time search engines have literally changed the way we think about knowledge." It may well be true that many people have started to equate knowledge and its discovery with the results of a Google search. If so, this is a regrettable trend.

[RV posts on Google] [del.icio.us links on Google] [Technorati on Google]

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