Lynne d Johnson



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09.22.05 04:31 PM

content is king - sort of

douglas rushkoff, author, teacher, and documentarian, never thought that content was king

investors kept pouring funds into web ventures in the late 90s and early 2G's believing that content was king and that perhaps, the web was going to be this super convergence of print, tv, radio

today, in some ways - the web has become that very thing - thanks to broadband

but in many ways it hasn't - so then, it's not really all about the content, now is it?

in jan. 2001, in Social Currency, Content as a Medium for Interaction, rushkoff said: "Those of you who think you are creating online content, take note: your success will be directly dependent on your ability to create excuses for people to talk to one another. For the real measure of content's quality is its ability to serve as a medium."

and then in 2003 he sort of said the same thing about mobile content in his social currency column: "It's time for the wireless industry to come to grips with the fact that no matter how sleek the phones or colorful the pictures on their little screens, nobody wants to have sex with either. They want to have sex with each other. Either help them, or get out of the way."

it's about the people

it's about the social interaction

blogs don't work b/c bloggers have the best content
blogs work b/c they connect people perhaps that's why msn thinks that the search engine is king

just in case you're not up on your technology news, microsoft has decided to follow the google business model and focus on its MSN product and search

microsoft is reorganizing - MSN is the focus

Time Warner's focus is becoming AOL

and who knows - the two may one day meet in a standoff against the googles and yahoos of the world

but if you take some web strategists and analysts views to heart - you're more of the mind the believe that RSS and XML Web services are the next big (Web) thing

and web portals will not be effective w/out use of these tools and the ability to enable interaction

i guess that's what makes search so important

it helps people find the places where they can connect

maybe not people like me or you, but those 12-17 (and sometimes - 24) year olds who spend most of their time online and on their cell phones - for them, the web is more real than any other medium

that's why google is still so hot

it helps people find people - in the most popular places

it's true - google is good for finding the popular places and content, but some people feel google may not be the best search engine

at least not Mary Ellen Bates who wrote "You Still Google? That is So Last Week" for econtentmag last month

the most popular is not always the most relevant context for searching

search is big - so it's maybe high time some other provider pulled top rank

Bates comments on forward-thinking, out-the-box search tools: "MSN's Search Builder provides sliders for you to specify how important it is to have "popular" pages and whether you want exact matches for all your search terms or a more approximate match. Yahoo! just rolled out its Mindset tool, which lets you indicate whether your inquiry is more related to shopping or to research (, and its delightful SmartSort has been available to shoppers for two years now. In addition, data visualization tools like Inxight, i2's Anacubis, and KartOO let us see search results in new ways, and detect relationships we would not have discerned from a plain linear display of information."

is search content?

search finds content - and therefore, by default, it is content

but either way, it's back to the people that rushkoff talks about connecting. either way, it's back to providing interaction. either way, it's simply about the people.

but then -

this letter to Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation from iMedia Search Editor Kevin Ryan just puts the icing on the cake:

"The search world has grown faster than anyone could have imagined. Even the rinky-dink industry that is focused on what has been dubbed search engine marketing lacks genuine staying power. Search sites are missing the boat and they have yet to realize it. Text messaging, optimized content, toolbars, directive text ad profiling and ZIP code searching -- all desultory attempts at creating what you hold in your very hands.

Itís not about who won the battle.

Hereís how to win the war in search. Forget about the talent scalping, techno venery and our umbrageous societal cravings. Search (or any other development for that matter) has always been about the people using it: be the one to bring them something they simply canít do without. "

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