This above image is search. Thats you stuck in the middle of it. The information you need may be as close as the nearby blue nodes. These are websites like Wikipedia and eventually Mahalo. Sometimes that information is deeper, on the green nodes. These are sites like Cooking.com and for the guys Chickipedia. Lastly we have the final stop, the purple nodes. This is the finest granular detail of search. It may appear in the form of a blog post, single news article or other form of user generated content.
Taking a search user all the way to that final purple node is not always required. There are of course plenty of nice stops along the way. For many of us however that central (or red node) is Google.
Right now Google search is the earth, the wind and even the fire. No one is going to change this anytime soon. Truth is they do everything so great, who would want to? There is however (as with everything), room for improvements in certain segments. This means a handful of useful services have the opportunity to at least disrupt Google’s dominance. To increase their presence and cause a little bit of blue node disruption.
1. Intelligent Aggregation: Online content is already reaching a saturation point, in the future it will only get worse. Services that can swarm around related topics and cleanly present them will be huge. Present examples include services like TechMeme and Alltop.
2. Editorial Layers: A concept we have obviously deployed at Mahalo. It’s challenging and in some cases expensive, but necessary. When you get down to very granular niche searching, humans will always win.
3. User Generated Search: That actually scares me just to type… Wikia is going to be an interesting trail for this type of service. We also have an untapped amount of good usergen search data already. Right now it’s in the form of Digg/delicious voting based methods.
What are the other disruptions out there? Don’t say Twitter! ;)