Thinking about the headline Apple Won’t Build a (Web) Search Engine my first reaction was of course they won’t, there are better ways to find “stuff” online compared to search. For example I like the fact that no two days are usually a like for me—that’s what living in NYC will do to someone Translate that to learning and finding valuable information on screen. When I type something into the search field I need to have an idea of what I’m searching for before I even start. After I press enter I’m judging the highest ranked result. Compare that to actually learning. How can search help when a person doesn’t know what to start typing with? Serendipity is a lot harder. Compare that to a link that a friend sent you or talked about. The subject or topic might be foreign but because they suggested it you’re more likely to click it. Think back to a time when you started reading something online, would you have been able to find it by starting a search query?
On the flip side consider where a lot of people go to start looking for a job. Craigslist is one of people’s first stops. The catch is that a lot of other people are applying for the same job so the odds start getting pretty low quickly. Contrast that to people shooting off on Twitter to people that follow them that they are looking to hire. Chances are if that Tweet follows the right channels of communication via trusted sources they’re more likely to find the right hire. All of a sudden Craigslist starts looking as old as the classifieds did when newspapers lost all their income to their online rival.
My case study about finding work via chatter as opposed to listing is when a friend at FIT was looking for some internship work during fashion week a month or two ago. She like every other fashion hungry person was looking at Craigslist. I didn’t personally know anyone in the fashion industry so my suggestion was to look to Twitter to see if a couple keywords brought in any leads. Since Twitter’s search engine is pretty bad I suggested Icerocket. For whatever reason they tend to actually show Twitter search results better. She ended up finding a couple potential opportunities that she wouldn’t have found through traditional online ways.