The best search engine is you


Access to qualified information is a double challenge : first because information is the new economic oil, second because we’re snowed under information.

Google showed the way : information relevance comes from users. The more you quote, the more you link, the more you read the more you give pertinance. Solutions that aim at analyzing user’s behaviors to prune the informational forest now arouse and added interest.

Saying that we admit the best search engine is nothing else that the individual, the most efficient engines trying to capitalize on human users behaviors. I wrote about it a year ago : the future is information social processing.

I experienced it yesterday afternoon : despite my employer provides us with a very efficent search engine, my first reflex was to ask a colleague “Do you know if we have something about that….where is it ?”. Immediate answer, more pertinent and quicker that the list the engine would have found.

So the best way to find the right information is to find the person who know it or know where it is. I talked about it yester with Alexis Mons who had this kind of discussion with an organization working in a very specifi context (can’t say more…). When teraoctet is the minimal information unit, the organization realized that the simplest query brought thousand pages of results and concluded that only the individual was able to make a really qualified search and that information qualification was, finally, highly related to its publisher.

The Aspen Insititute report concluded that the most accessible form of knowledge is conversation. So we just have to make the informal discussions become effective and capitalize on it.

Anne-Marie ducroux, president of the French Sustainable Development Council published a very interesting reflection about that. “Benchmarking experiencences often allows to enrich people and even innovation“she said. She continued “convergence between everyone’s actions has to be reinforced, new relationships between players have to be built, outdates distinctions have to be abolished and new collaborations have to be encouraged. This begins inevitably by discussions. Hence the need of building their crucible : tools, moments, places and mediations“. She finally concluded : “New alchimists, in the 21th century, won’t try to make gold but conversations…that are worth gold for society“.

Nothing more than the way our organizations have to follow in the upcomming years.