Google is amazing. It knows everything, and each day its definition of everything expands. I use it continuously, in more and more ways. So do you. But is it any good?
If your definition of good is having almost any piece of information you could ask for at your fingertips, then clearly the answer is “yes”. But if you need something specific that isn’t easily adapted to encyclopedic knowledge, or you want to compare a couple of things, or you need expertise, Google may not get the job done for you.
When does information become knowledge?
Now think about the way Facebook and Twitter work. Twitter is a raw data dump. Sure, there are ways to search and group the information you see there, but that’s not how it’s designed. Twitter feels like a fire hose, and unless you know how to tweak the information it throws at you or use some third-party tools it’s all but useless.
Facebook isn’t any better. Sure, the third party tools are more evolved, and Facebook itself tries to make things better by sorting your feed into only what matters to you, but let’s face it: Facebook is missing the mark. I don’t WANT the things that people I’ve connected to to be thinned out by a computer algorithm.
Computers simply aren’t very good at applying information designed for the masses to individuals. This isn’t The Matrix. Or at least I hope it isn’t.
I’ve mentioned that social networking needs a Facelift, and that I’m involved in creating that social networking change. A few weeks ago I came across a new search decision engine that reminded me of our little social networking facelift. I don’t know whether FindTheBest.com is going to succeed, but one day something like FindTheBest will catch on.
Will FindTheBest be the company that capitalizes on the need for a decision engine? Maybe. FindTheBest is owned and run by Kevin O’Connor. Mr. O’Connor is worth about a gazillion dollars, having founded advertising network DoubleClick. In other words, this is a smart dude.
DoubleClick, by the way, is now an important piece of Google’s advertising puzzle.
But so far, FindTheBest is a bit too narrow and designed in a way that’s still too hard to navigate to make it genuinely useful to very many people.
But business change isn’t easy. And creating the kind of facelift that’s needed to get people to change their habits is even harder.
Take a look at FindTheBest.com. And then tell me if you think there’s something there that’s right, or what you think is wrong.