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Elsewhere on the Tree we've been discussing Google, on and off. Two analogies I've been thinking about. Maybe someone else has posted about this.

1. Just as biodiversity is good for an ecosystem, having a lot of search alternatives is healthier than having just one. Practices such as googlebombing emerge because people figure out the weaknesses of the system. Eventually the system becomes unreliable, diseased, because too many people know how to exploit it in ways it wasn't meant to be used. If there are no alternatives remaining when it rots, the ecosystem (Web) as a whole suffers.

2. Google is like the Interstate highway system. Towns on older roads decay and shrivel up because everyone starts building to catch passing traffic on the superhighways. Weblogging, with its heavy dependence on the link-and-constant-update-loving Google, is like Motel 6 and the Olive Garden. Yet just as those clusters of Interstate franchises will be collecting tumbleweeds when the oil economy winds down, many webloggers now furiously linking to each other to "up their ratings" will be history when, say, Google is wrecked by greedy shareholders after it goes public. And there'll be no "old growth" community to fall back on, because static websites will have packed it in for lack of hits (see #1 above).

These are meant to be words of caution, not pessimism. Just use Dogpile once in a while.

- tom moody 3-29-2002 4:40 am [link] [5 comments]