The fascinating history & seemingly unlimited potential of search engines
Nov 27, 2008
I would imagine there are lots of folks out there who utilize search engines on a daily basis and have absolutely no idea how this amazing technology came to be. You want to know more but feel intimidated by many of the books out there that are written in technical jargon you simply are unable to understand. For those who find themselves in this predicament John Battell has written "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture". Here is a book written in plain English that will at once catch you up on the history of search engines and give you a heads up on what to expect from this technology in the years ahead.
Do you recall the first time you ever utilized a search engine? You suddenly realized that nothing would ever be the same again. Think of how this technology has evolved in the past 10 or 12 years. Then contemplate that according to John Battelle the search technology that we consider so advanced today has only reached approximately 5% of it's potential! It is really quite mind boggling! In "The Search"John Battelle discusses the development of the earliest search technologies from a handful of college campuses, most notably Stanford University. In addition, Battelle introduces us to those pioneering individuals who were most responsible for making search engines a commercially viable techology. Later on we meet the founders of both Yahoo! and Google. John Battelle compares both the technologies and the business philosophies of these search giants.
As "The Search" winds down John Battelle pauses to consider some of the various legal, privacy and business implications of these highly sophisticated search engines. It seems that the technology is advancing so rapidly that we simply have not had time to fully think through all of the ramifications of having so much information at our disposal with just a few clicks. "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture" will likely expose you to quite a bit of practical information you were never aware of. But more importantly, I think it was John Battelle's intention to make each and every reader stop and contemplate what is going on all around us. Search engines can contribute so much to this world when used in the way they were originally intended. At the same time, the potential exists for much abuse of this incredible technology. Perhaps it's time you read "The Search" and considered these issues yourself. Highly recommended!
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Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Summary: If you pick your books by their popularity--how many and which other people are reading them--then know this about The Search: it's probably on Bill Gates' reading list, and that of almost every venture capitalist and startup-hungry entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. In its sweeping survey of the history of Internet search technologies, its gossip about and analysis of Google, and its speculation on the larger cultural implications of a Web-connected world, it will likely receive attention from a variety of businesspeople, technology futurists, journalists, and interested observers of mid-2000s zeitgeist. This ambitious book comes with a strong pedigree. Author John Battelle was a founder of The Industry Standard and then one of the original editors of Wired, two magazines which helped shape our early perceptions of the wild world of the Internet. Battelle clearly drew from his experience and contacts in writing The Search. In addition to the sure-handed historical perspective and easy familiarity with such dot-com stalwarts as AltaVista, Lycos, and Excite, he speckles his narrative with conversational asides from a cast of fascinating characters, such Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin; Yahoo's, Jerry Yang and David Filo; key executives at Microsoft and different VC firms on the famed Sandhill road; and numerous other insiders, particularly at the company which currently sits atop the search world, Google. The Search is not exactly the corporate history of ...