Archive for August, 2012

An idea: “Incentivized Curation” of search results

So, just now I had this idea in the shower. (Yes, now that I work for myself from home, I can take showers whenever I feel like it.)

I was thinking about Stack Overflow, and how great it is, and I was thinking about how google results are often not as good (for very targeted specific topics), and also the phenomenon where, when I find a stack overflow question I want to answer, but don’t have some specific piece on hand, I go to google. So in some sense, for some questions/answers, Stack Overflow is really just a curated list of google results, and then I had this thought.

What if google provided a link, after you search, that said something along the lines of “Not what you’re looking for?”, and it immediately flagged the search for an incentivized human to look at. The human would not actually provide links (I guess maybe they could), but would instead provide “better” search terms. Of course google would do some intelligent caching so that if someone has searched for the same thing before, it gives you back the best terms from before first. And then the final piece is upvoting/downvoting of search terms/results that help you.

Essentially, I’m using the word incentivization to avoid the word gamification. But I mean adding RPG elements. Levels, points, all that kind of fun stuff that makes people go bananas. It struck me as weird that Google hasn’t really done any gamification outside of G+. Clearly they are avoiding it intentionally, since it would be easy to add those types of features across the board (I’m mostly thinking of search here). I guess maybe they are dipping their toes in the water with G+, since it’s now invaded most of their products.

Anyway, just a random thought.