Social networking and search
Monday, April 16, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Oddly, at least to me, when RSS was starting up, the first page of hits on Google would be a mix of the syndication format and the political party. Today, the Indians are pushed down to page 2, and at that, it's only one link.
Another example. In 1999, UserLand released a web content management system called Manila. It was one of the first blogging platforms, and it's still on the market, but not as famous as it used to be. A few months after Manila shipped it became the first hit on Google, then like RSS it came to dominate the first couple of pages of hits, pushing aside a city of 10 million people, the capital of the Philippines, a soverign nation. What kind of sense does that make? Well it makes a lot of sense if you're me, or any of the few thousand people who used Manila to do their websites, but there are lots of people around the world to whom this made no sense at all.
Now it may have been cute in 2001 or 2002, but by 2007, with search integrated into society at a very deep level, and only getting deeper -- it seems like it's way past time to fix this. And we know how to do it, and it's not even very hard.
How? Integrate social networking and search and learn what people who I'm connected with, people like me, choose when they search for RSS and adjust the results accordingly. It's collaborative filtering applied to search. If Google doesn't do it, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask or a startup should.