The importance of 'searchability'

One mantra that I like to repeat over and over when I speak to people about the power of social networking and web 2.0 is that ‘if we all knew what we all knew, we’d be unstoppable.’ In other words, one of the greatest limitations that most companies and individuals face when searching for information is that they don’t know where to look, or who to ask, for information in the first place.

Social networks are invaluable tools for connecting people to other individuals who have the information that they need.

However, simply having social networks is not enough to make sure that we can find out ‘what we all know.’ There’s one more prerequisite -  the networks must be searchable. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how connected to people you are if you don’t know what information people in your network have at their fingertips. Unfortunately, while the vast majority of social networks can be searched for ‘social’ content (like interests, favorite bands and TV shows), very few can also be searched for expertise. But as companies increasingly embrace social media and everything it can offer, I believe that making people and their individual talents ‘searchable’ will be increasingly important.

The organisation of data into easy to navigate ‘chunks’ is so important, that people are now suggesting that functionality will form the basis of web 3.0. Exciting!

I stumbled across the following video recently that describes just how important searchability is, and what a huge role it will play in the future of the internet. It’s really worth a watch!

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

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