trust, word of mouth and the conversation

As Jeremiah Owyang notes:
“Facebook is a closed garden with one-way doors.
This means that data comes in, but it’s not coming out – yet.”

The Inside Facebook blog suggests that Google is not relevant to Facebook since it has it’s own news and feed ranking indexes and systems, its own search tool and its own social network to find information:

“Future information finding systems will evolve to use data from your social network, yielding results based upon your trusted peers” – Inside Facebook, NFO (News Feed Optimization) is the new SEO.

This concept of ‘trust’ is tied to identity and also to the belief that word of mouth advice between friends, families and colleagues is by far the strongest form of marketing around – crucially, it also flies in the face of Google’s current search algorithm which is based on popularity, not accuracy or trust.

If search evolves, will we rely on personal social network features (what do my friends think and recommend) over search? Will we evolve to smaller network based searches?

In many ways, this is what Mahalo was trying to overcome, the problem with that is that I don’t know (and therefore don’t trust) the editors creating the Mahalo data. This is why so many thought leaders are already thinking about their Facebook strategy.

Although Google continues to evolve it’s AI to build better search tools, trust continues to be the leading factor in finding information. Google’s search results have much to be desired: popular is not the same as correct.

The future of search will contain human elements in addition to algorithms.


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