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Bubble & Information Overload arguments in one…

Publishing 2.0 � Bubble 2.0 Is a Bubble in Media

Thanks to Ian Worley for this link. Overly long but some interesting points. Seems a rehash of the ‘too much info so we need a [trusted] gatekeeper’ theme. This has been batted around in publishing for aeons: intermediation (“value-added services”, “peer reviewing”) or disintermediation; aggregation versus imprimatur…

Scott Karp implies that in a world of too much info there’ll be a single point (“portal”??) that becomes the gatekeeper: the trusted pointer. This is analagous to saying that in the Kelkoo age the new retailers are Kelkoo, Pricerunner et al, and that retailers are pushed into the position of ‘wholesalers’ to these new mediators.

While there’s some truth in this perspective it rather ignores people’s desire to graze (for serendipitous discovery, to get a feel for the size/shape of a topic) and their serene, ad-proof ability to ignore and filter.

Think of a typical middle-of-the-road department store or high street. Humanoids exhibit in turns a wandering/browsing behaviour, and sharp-elbowed, “I’m on a mission” hunting of items.

Why would this behavioural flexibility cease in the face of too much information (as opposed to too much choice in shoes, colas or undifferentiated consumer non-durables)?

There are a number of scenarios which are predictable:
* people get bored of lots of search returns. They either go with the top returns (zipf’s law), use a new search engine or get better at searching.
* google loses its lustre. It’s already had a good run at being the good guy on the interwebnet… China, privacy, Freedom and Wall Street are all clouds on the horizon
* recommendation networks become more important as a source of information.

Same old, same old.