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Monday, May 16, 2022

Boutique Search Again

Reminds me of the early days of search and things we set up for specialty use.   Especially healthcare based, but could be related to any domain.    Curated web and supporting search engines.    Recall setting up a search engine pointed (curated to) directly at a specific project.   See 'Zakta' as an example, is it still available? 

The Future of Search Is Boutique, By Sari Azout in future.a16z

This is an edited version of a post that originally ran here. 

For most queries, Google search is pretty underwhelming these days. Google is great at answering questions with an objective answer, like “# of billionaires in the world” or “What is the population of Iceland?” It’s pretty bad at answering questions that require judgment and context like “What do NFT collectors think about NFTs?”

The evidence is everywhere. These days, I find myself suppressing the garbage Internet by searching on Google for “Substack + future of learning” to find the best takes on education. We hack Twitter with the “what is the best” posts over and over again. When I’m researching a new product, I type “X item reddit” into Google. I find enormous value in small, niche, often forgotten sites like Spaghetti Directory.

There’s an emergence of tools like Notion, Airtable, and Readwise where people are aggregating content and resources, reviving the curated web. But at the moment these are mostly solo affairs — hidden in private or semi-private corners of the Internet, fragmented, poorly indexed, and unavailable for public use. We haven’t figured out how to make them multiplayer. In cases where we’ve made them public and collaborative — here is a great example — these projects are often short-lived and poorly maintained.

The stated mission of a company worth almost two trillion dollars is to “organize the world’s information” and yet the Internet remains poorly organized. Or, stated differently, in a world of infinite information, it’s no longer enough to organize the world’s information. It becomes important to organize the world’s trustworthy information.  .... ' 

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