The Lazy Programmer: Construct Searches, Not Links

The problem with portals is that they require tending. Whether you're building a developer hub for .Net or a launchpad to find recipes, it takes a human to moderate, tend and prune. What if a hub contained well-designed searches instead? When the design goal is to return a set of possible solutions, why not create a self-maintaining solution? 

The experiment began with my blog entry yesterday. Rather than provide a specific link to content, I'll generate a Google search that happens to return what I might have linked to as its first result. Aside from giving the user more than one choice, it never gets stale, and never requires human maintenance.

The exceptions are specific references, like "my blog entry yesterday." Click on that title and you don't want all of the posts from yesterday, you want the single thing the link refers to.

The truth is that designing effective queries remains a specialised skill. It adds value for those who don't have the time or the interest to develop the skill. On a knowledge hub or portal there is also value in writing, developing, and publishing original content, but on pages where the point is to provide a content index, the future is in linking topics to targeted searches.

Like it? Don't like it? Got a way to improve it? Feedback.

[Note: Edited March 19, same content, more concise.]

No Comments