Are content curation and the future of search converging? Who will you trust when it comes to find out what alternatives to a problem are out there and you have only an Internet connection? How much individual freedom do you want to sacrifice to an algorithm, no matter how accurate?
Photo credit: Robin Good
But why, you may rightly ask, to question Google or other search engines ability to sort and classify results when they have done it for so long already?
The reasons could be many, but they key ones I see, can be summed up on this short list:
a) Most Internet users believe that search engines are unbiased and that they do provide the most relevant results for what I need to find out. They do not question or doubt the secret system by which these information results are provided. The reality is that “More and more, your computer monitor is a kind of one-way mirror, reflecting your own interests while algorithmic observers watch what you click. (Source: Eli Pariser)”
b) The quantity of information available online has grown and keeps growing at a tremendous pace. Classifying and organizing what is relevant becomes therefore increasingly difficult, given that ideally, what may be a valid set of search results for me may not be as relevant or useful to another person.
c) Lists of text results are becoming less and less useful. Valuable context is missing. Google search results offer less and less of a comprehensive quality view on a topic and more and more a window on a few results, surrounded by commercial paid ads.
d) Internet users like me increasingly want to make sense and understand deeply a specific topic rather than finding a set of short blog articles on it.
e) To solve these issues, search engines and social networks have long been developing personalized results. Personalization, the one generated by invisible filters on Facebook, Google and elsewhere, predetermines what is relevant for you, based on history, preferences, and the choices your online friends. But you as a user have little or no way to tweak this or to establish which friends to trust and which not.
f) Information personalization may be good to suggest what to buy next, according to what your friends have liked or bought before you, but it may not be the best choice when it comes to making informed decisions or understanding an issue by analyzing different viewpoints.
These, are the first, quite evident reasons pointing to a growing problem we have not paid much attention to until now: Centralized and secretive information filtering, for which you have never consciously opted in.
What are the ways and solutions around it?
Content and search curation, done by humans for other fellow humans, may be the best solution of all.
In this recent video interview that Howard Rheingold recorded with me, I introduce some of the basics of content curation, its role, importance and the characteristics, traits and tools required to do it properly.
From there, I also explain the great opportunity and potential “trusted content and search curators” may have in the future of the Internet, as they may become our most trusted gateways to the information and sources we are looking for.
Read original article at Professional Online Publishing…