Web as a source of information

I’ve just read a very interesting article on the Wall Street Journal about fake web “original content”, written by Lee Gomes. He claims that he was once hired to produce “original content” for $2 an article where he just had to get articles from other websites and change the wording just enough so that it will look like something different. He ends the article saying:

“In fact, search engines are more like a TV camera crew let loose in the middle of a crowd of rowdy fans after a game. Seeing the camera, everyone acts boorishly and jostles to get in front. The act of observing something changes it.

“Which is what search engines are causing to happen to much of the world’s “information.” Legitimate information, like articles from the WHO, risks being crowded out by junky, spammy imitations. Nothing very useful about that.”

Very well put and quite scary what search engines are doing to the web.

But then there is a second side to it: people are actually finding information (if they know how to search, or are looking for the same thing that most people are already looking, something that is cannot be old information)! And with this, people are making money! I’ve talked a week ago with a web designer friend of mine and he said that buying an ad at Google was the best investment he has ever made. It is very inexpensive ($1 per click) and he said that it makes him about 150x profit. I guess I’ve just been the only one that never clicked on an adsense ad.

Finally, soon you will see some changes to this site. I’m planning a major change in direction of this blog, both making it nicer to look and easier to see what you are looking for. One detail: I won’t promise any more and better content. It’s just that I’ll be a little bit more proud about it. One of the major things that will happen is that I’ll be moving off of Blogger!

Scary thought, huh? It’s been a long time that I just haven’t seen anything new coming out of the Blogger team. Pretty much since blogger was bought by Google, it stalled; much like any “already established” system at Google. Look at Google news! Orkut (although it looks like there is a more complicated story behind that)! Google itself! Just projects left aside to give way to more “AJAXy” things, like Google maps and Gmail. By the way, talking about Gmail, I HATE that you can’t click “back” to go back to the page you were.

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