Search results are impressive right now. We can access the exact information we want with minimal effort. It’s almost too easy. Start typing and before you’ve finished, the answer pops up.
Plus the best thing is that everyone has access. Anyone with Google or DuckDuckGo or Bing or their engine of choice can tap into this extraordinary superpower.
The problem is, like anything, when everyone can do it, it’s no longer a superpower. When everyone has the same advantage, it ceases to be an advantage. While it’s a great leveler – by providing access accurate information to everyone, it also has a downside. As humans we seek progress and sometimes this relies on us competing with the next human. We need to strive for more than we have today, something different and hopefully better. After all it’s often this difference that leads us to discover new innovations. We’re going to struggle to find information that is different if we follow the current trajectory of information search.
Our ever increasing reliance on algorithms and AI based predictions mean less availability of anything different or novel – that human kind of information. Instead our optimized search results are all fueled by the same underlying data and will thus direct us all to the same places.
Today our impressive search results mean we don’t see this lack of inspiring content as a problem at first. After all if we all get the best most accurate information surely it will help us all make the most perfect correct decisions. It’s never that simple. We’re going to need a new mission that involves seeking a more human type of information.
Is this wisdom of the crowd again?
This isn’t wisdom of the crowd as we know it. We’ve had crowdsourcing in the past but when modeled into a formal process, the results have been mixed. It turns out to be hard to generate genuinely good ideas and filter through crowdsourcing platforms. I built an internal company crowdsourcing tool many years ago and I learnt first hand about the challenges. At the beginning there is much enthusiasm. Early adopters are all too keen to share their wisdom while others are reticent to give up theirs. The results end up skewed. Some fairly good ideas come from a handful of incentivized individuals while the majority grow frustrated if their idea is not selected or reacted to. A silver bullet solution or game changing idea is rarely an outcome. There is still wisdom somewhere hidden in the crowd but we need a new way to seek and it. Asking a crowd isn’t the answer. Instead we may need wisdom away from the crowds. From those people on the fringes of the crowd, or those lost in the noise. The people who know better than the crowd.
This is a new age where popularity and likes won’t lead to the kind of information we need.
Where is the most human information found?
Locating the source of this new goldmine of novel information (and preserving it) is our new challenge. The information is buried in forums, comments sections, a conversation with a real life person and in the minds of people. Is it likely to come through a computer generated algorithm? Not really. It probably won’t come from a typical search engine as we know it. This time it’s not the most accurate result to aim for (which will eventually become a commodity) but it will be the most novel. After we become numb to predictable answers we will crave the unusual, previously unknown or even unexpected. The most human type of information will be the most valuable because like any precious resource, it won’t be so easily found.
At Recknsense we have a mission to gather more human information. Unexpected, novel, sometimes wise, unusual or different – the opposite of predictable and algorithmic. Have a look at some of the most recent first hand recommendations:
Or something different to watch:
Or a new newsletter to sign up to:
Or just good old fashioned advice:
Do you have a first hand recommendation of your own? Check out Recommend+