Friday, December 10, 2004

Yahoo, Google, and those pesky humans

In a long post, John Battelle describes the difference between Yahoo and Google:
    Yahoo is a natural media company - the company is willing to have overt editorial and commercial agendas, and to let humans intervene in search results so as to create media which supports those agendas. Google, on the other hand, is repelled by the idea of becoming a content- or editorially-driven company.

    While both companies ... lay claim to the mission of "organizing the world's information and making it accessible" ... they approach the task with vastly different stances.

    Google sees the problem as one that can be solved mainly through technology - clever algorithms and sheer computational horsepower will prevail. Humans enter the search picture only when algorithms fail.

    But Yahoo has always viewed the problem as one where human beings, with all their biases and brilliance, are integral to the solution ... Humans first, technology second.
See also my earlier post, "Humans vs. Robots == Yahoo vs. Google".

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