Last week Glenn Derene declared in How Social Networking Could Kill Web Search as We Know It “the next generation of Web users may find what they want by using their social network rather than a search algorithm".”
Now, this article is really positing search in the broad “consumer” sense – search as in movie, restaurant, recipe, new electronic device, movie reviews and such. Whenever I want to search for facts or technical information, I think how it might be tagged and then search blogs.technet.com, or blogs.msdn.com, or del.icio.us, ma.gnolia, stumbleupon, etc. If ti was day zero, and I was part of the response team, I’d probably keep an eye on the twitter-verse.
One reason IT Pros use http://blogs.technet.com is that they grok that it is much easier to watch an IT Pro blog about technology X than it is to find all the technical content yourself (or just the subset that you need at the moment, thank-you-very-much). In the article, Udi Manber, Google’s vice president of engineering in charge of search quality, says “The art of ranking is one of taking lots of signals and putting them together. Signals from your friends are better, stronger signals.”
Now, consider the possibilities for delivering you targeted technical information out of TechNet and MSDN that this guy has unleashed.