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Are search engines "not cutting it" any longer?

edited November 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I remember a few years back, when people started saying things like, "I don't even use bookmarks anymore...its just easier to Google for something". With the recent explosion of social bookmarking services, I'm wondering if that is the case any longer.

Are search engines getting less and less relevant? Do social bookmarking services exist to fill this gap, or do they exist purely on a social level?

Comments

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    Personally, I don't understand social bookmarking...
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    What is your opinion on it? Maybe a better question is: why don't you understand social bookmarking?
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    Well, I don't understand the appeal to social bookmarking. I guess when it comes down to it, maybe I don't appreciate it because I don't "surf the web". I use it for research when it comes to coursework. I have a few sites that I can pass time on... which I have bookmarked. I really just don't understand it, and I guess I don't understand why I don't understand it either. It's just not something I picture myself getting into. A simple google search helps with my course work, and a simple bookmark keeps a site that I stumbled across somehow.
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    I actually have been thinking along those same lines as well: the only people who really need social bookmarking are really techie type of people who spend a whole lot of time online and find it very important to keep a record of the different links they have visited. I just don't know if it is something that casuals or those who don't surf the web care for. They'd just as soon do a quick Google and get what they need.
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    edited November 2005
    I spend all my time on my pc on the web (i recently installed dsl at my aunties and explained to her how she no longer needed to dial up - her response was 'so what do i do when i dont want to go on the internet' - after being somewhat confused, i just pointed out that she...didnt go on the internet) but i wouldnt say i 'surfed it'. I suppose there are different perceptions of the term. I have one FF window with a series of tabs of all the sites i need/view regularly (vanilla, webmail, webmail, tv guide), and then use other firefox windows to group related sites which i am viewing at any one time - at the moment i have one for my ebay search for aibos, one for my research regarding laptops, and then two more with unrelated stuffs in. To me, the term 'surf the web' would in some ways suggest that i browsed round it asif it were a city or something (couldnt think of a better analogy). It gives me the impression that i'd sit here, and just follow links. If you think about it, i could follow a link off vanilla to someones site (caught in the crossfire, for example), look around that for a while, and then i imagine i could find a link on there which took me to an external site, where i'd repeat the process. I suspect that i could go on like that for quite some time, and in honesty it could be quite an interesting journey; but i just dont do it. I believe there are people out there who do (or something similar, atleast) - and those i would call 'web surfers'. The vast majority of my web use is purely methodical - i follow the occasional link someone dumps in msn or irc, see what it is, and then usually go back to what i was doing before. I already know most of the sites i would want or need to visit for any particular purpose, and when i dont i'd google for it. Usually it'd be looking for information about something i was thinking about buying, or researching school topics. Sometimes i research stuff that interests me just for the sake of it (particularly if i've been given a link to something that touches on the subject and i feel like advancing my knowledge). I've never used social bookmarking - i suspect in some ways it could be quite useful. Those times when i was researching something for curiosity sake there may well be a number of sites which wouldnt have been on the first couple of google pages but were an invaluble resource - but to be honest i doubt it. The chances are if you're looking for information about something, by the time you've worked through a couple of pages of search results you've learnt all you're gonna learn about it using that particular avenue of inquest. I'm not entirely sure in what circumstances it would be a more useful resource than the other methods available (i.e. google (and increasingly wikipedia)). The main use i see for it is to allow users to save bookmarks which so they can access them on different pc's - but in those instances it's more of an online bookmark service than a 'social' bookmark - regardless of whether other people can search or access them. This has turned into somewhat of a life story but shit happens - i suppose social bookmarking is still something i have to learn about but i certainly dont see the demise of search engines (against another source) in the near future.
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    Very good post minesweeper. The one thing I have noticed about social bookmarking services is:

    1) they are very open to spam since anyone can post
    2) you are dealing with an extremely limited amount of links

    I mean, hey, its great that I can look up "Xbox" on del.icio.us, but maybe there are only 100 links on there that are tagged as Xbox, vs the millions on Google. Regardless of how good those 100 links are, when you compare those 100 to a million, I'm obviously gonna find more and better stuff out of the million.

    I'm really torn: I think social bookmarking is interesting, but I also see a lot of problems with it.

    What intrigues me the most is looking at Yahoo's MyWeb service and seeing how little it is being used. Whether that has to do with it not being so great or simply just a lack of interest among casual web users, I dunno.
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    minisweeper* :P
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    lol, sorry about that. Now I know better.

    Anyway, I think this is a great example of how poorly social bookmarking sites work out as search engines.

    search for "xbox" on del.icio.us
    search for "xbox" on Google

    Many of the links that I get on del.icio.us are about very specific areas of the Xbox, and none of the links are really the main ones I'd probably be looking for. Maybe this is only further proof that there is no future in "search" via social bookmarking.
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    yeah... it doesnt even have xbox's homepage on there.
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    heh jesusphreak - no problems, but minesweeper is my older brother, which derived my name mini sweeper :)
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    Haha, clever.
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    I would say this with certainty: The more content any search engine takes in, the more irrelevant junk it will spit out when you search for something through it. Look at google today compared to a few years ago, before you could type in some exact phrase and it would give you a ton of relevant data. Now do that same phrase today, and you're not only going to get that same result, but it's also going to have a ton of other pages offering you viagra and other junk you didn't get before. Given time, del.icio.us and other "social bookmarking" sites will suffer from the same ammount of bloat as links get outdated, domains trade hands and so on. I think every so often data need to get flushed out of those systems and reharvested for relevant data. Otherwise it's like mining a garbage mine in search for that last piece of useless information.
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    edited November 2005
    That is quite the interesting view. Maybe a search engine needs to be built around it. Their moto could be, "No bloat, only results". :)

    It also seems to suggest that del.icio.us is pretty much screwed as far as "search" goes. The results aren't very good right now, they certainly aren't gonna get any better when a massive amount of users starts using it (if that ever happens).
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    lechlech Chicagoland
    Well, either way, over time ANY results will deteriorate in the database is what I'm saying. While they will appear as "relevant" the data there will dry up, become useless or unavailable over time. Not that I'm against hosts and domains staying alive from circa 1995, hell, I'm all for it. But over time, half of the domains out there have been taken over by those rediculous 3rd party advertising "search engines" and nearly every other result sometimes will take you to the same damn place under a different name. If search engines like google could filter out these "sites" it would seriously make simple searching helpful again. Otherwise you're forced to do "dog treats -viagra -cialis -otherbullshit" in all your searches and that's a bit tedious.
This discussion has been closed.