The King is dead, long live the New King

Last week I concentrated on examining the popularity of services created to help me find interesting info, like tagging, digging, sharing and adding. Some of them work, but most of these services don’t deliver in the end. They come up, they grow, and then they seem to bump into some kind of obstacle. Why is this? I tried to analyze these services from the points of view on and theories of the diffusion of innovation. Most of these new services never move from innovators to early adopters. Not one is more widely used by the people formerly known as the the early majority.

Looking at Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2010, I again noticed that, however great their work, it’s only about technology and emerging technologies. Combining trends and hypes in the rise and fall of new emerging technologies with observations on the way real people actually behave is in my view far more interesting.

Take Search. Almost everyone starts at the homepage of a search engine, right? Use of this ‘technology’ is almost 100%. According to Gartner Search would be at The Plateau of Productivity and (their words) ‘…a sharp uptick in adoption begins, and penetration accelerates rapidly as a result of proven useful value….’

OK, one must agree. But let us examine the usefulness and the value more closely.

Most people use only one word in their search. Far too many search results are presented in less than a second.  About half of the people only click on the first result. The third result is used by just 10 %. And when people finally jump to a website, they are gone before you can count them.

I don’t know, but it seems to me that this is a perfect example of Filter Failure. Search has indeed been a critical solution to bringing audience to the web, but that’s about it. People don’t want to search, they want to find.

Sharing, adding, tagging and digging were launched because finding is not searching. Web 2.0 lead to more and more content. Content is King no more. I think time has come for a new king.

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