On the subject of why he thinks engines are doing a poor job, (using a hotel search as an example), he asks:
So, what COULD search engines do? Well, first, give me some choices at the top of the page. Why couldn’t search engines ask you these questions:
1) “are you looking for hotels in New York or named New York?”
2) Are you looking for hotels with free Wifi?
3) Are you looking for hotels with great views?
4) Are you looking for hotels nearby major tourist destinations?
5) Are you looking for hotels with above average ammenities like super large bathtubs, well stocked minibars, etc.?
This reminds me of the passage in the book with Gary Flake, who is now – huh – at Microsoft (he was at Yahoo when I spoke to him). “If only I could have one more modal dialog….” In other words, he wished searchers were more like Scoble – sure of what they wanted, and willing to engage in a dialog with the search engine. Most, it turns out, are not.