Human Scale in the Google World

Apr 282009

I recently saw a version of a presentation called Did You Know? in which the writers illustrate the exponential growth in data generation and assimilation, past, present, and future.

Information on the web was once only available through either commercial portals like CompuServe and America Online – who managed access and organized data into safe, predictable flavors – or bulletin boards.

As the ability to create web pages and independent content exploded, Google had to be invented to make some sense out of the growing Information Cloud.Now the data explosion has turned the cloud into the London fog.

The fog of data as represented by the growth of the Google index (an estimated 25.32 billion pages as of this writing) has reached, in my opinion, the point at which the index requires an index.

Rather than Google 2.0 the environment has created Blogs with their beginning as ego/social soapboxes, blogs were seen as fringe distractions, however it has become more and more apparent that bloggers are becoming the new ‘index’.

Because bloggers are people writing about what they are interested in and good bloggers are interested in a wide variety of things that they can effectively communicate they attract an audience of the like-minded.

When you want to know the date of something or ‘how high is up’, go to Google. If you want to know about cooking, go to Emeril’s blog.

On the radio, I heard a woman talking about the maximum amount of bytes individuals able to consume in their lifetimes, and the importance of choosing the right bytes rather than attempting to consume all bytes. People we trust help us index what is relevant and useful, much like the daily newspaper we followed in the past.

The print news may be dying, but the voice of the trusted correspondent is alive and well and living in a blog near you. People give meaning to data, not the other way around, and in the exchange of meaning we create value.

Without this communal index we are lost in the fog.

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