Time magazine tackles search in this week’s issue. I spoke to a Time reporter last week, and you never know where it’s going to go – Time tends to talk to a lot of folks, and then boil it all down to the least common denominator.
The piece starts with a “search in the future scene” which pretty much summed up the conversation I had with the reporter (without of course saying we had it), then rounds up the conventional wisdom, numbers and all, and then goes into an overview of “next generation search,” beginning with AOL’s SingingFish (a Time Warner property), on to futuristic image search Viisage, mobile search (4INFO), an interesting app called Mobot (pattern matching via cel phone camera images), question answering (KnowItAll), tagging (Flickr), audio/video (Blinkx, Nexidia), maps (A9) and personalized (Greg’s Findory gets a nod).
Why did I do all these links? Because Time’s website doesn’t link out. How 1996 is that?! I can only imagine all the folks who were not mentioned in this roundup are feeling blue – for a startup, a mention in Time is a Very Big Deal. But thank goodness for all of us Time did not put this package on the cover, as the reporter told me they might – that always marks the beginning of the end of any trendy story. Maybe next week….
So the battle is on for the next generation of search, which will be smarter and more tailored to the individual, embrace video and music–and be accessible from any device with a chip. By 2010, search-engine advertising will be a $22 billion industry worldwide, up from an estimated $8 billion today, according to Safa Rashtchy, a senior analyst with Piper Jaffray in San Francisco. It’s the reason search has become the most hotly contested field in the world of technology.