John Battelle revisits the Database of Intentions

8 March 2010 at 23:20 Leave a comment

An excellent read at from both Battelle himself and the many comments on how the Database of Intentions has evolved from the early years of the century when Google started to come of age.

With the ‘eruption’ of Web 2.0 he now identifies four key fields in the database and four signals:

  • The Purchase → “What I buy” (fifth added later:
  • The query → “What I want”
  • The social graph → “Who I am” / “Who I know”
  • The update → “What I’m doing” / “What’s happening”
  • The check-in → “Where I am”

Battelle argues for a more catholic definition of search – an extension from web search to include these other signals.

Not so sure, myself. Whilst these signals and many other signals  are vitally important to the evolution of the web, I’m inclined to agree with the commentator who suggests that social graph, updates and check-ins are refinements or attributes to intention rather than fields themselves.

Also surprised there is no reference to semantics or Semantic Web – aggregation, filtering and pull around a user’s intention or need.

Still, the key message for me is in his conclusion:

If you’re not viewing your job to be a curator, clarifier, interpreter, and amplifier of the Database of Intentions, you’re soon going to be out of business. The Database of Intentions is the fuel that drives media platforms, and as I’ve argued elsewhere, every business is now a media business.


Entry filed under: search, semantic web, web 2.0.

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