Capturing Diverse User Mindshare

Cathy Gordon from Google (she used to work for both Dialog and LexisNexis) is giving the opening keynote talk, titled “Capturing Diverse User Mindshare: Advice from the Battlefield.” Her introduction of Google (did anyone in the room really not know about Google?) contained an implicit criticism of the traditional online hosts, as she noted that Dialog and LexisNexis underestimated the power of the Internet, preferring in the 1990s to concentrate on PC interfaces. They also were never successful in reaching the broad global audience that Google has.

Cathy talked about Google’s emphasis on “persistently persuasive innovation,” then went on to talk about product proliferation (not her words, my interpretation).

Interesting, Google’s most advanced searches come from Finland and Germany.

Another fun fact: Google can do business in 46 currencies, only Western Union does more national currencies.

Contrary to public opinion, Google does have discipline in its product development, there are quarterly objectives and ideas and progress are graded.

Google judges success as people continuing to use the search engine.

Future: Search will become more sophisticated, with rich text, pictures, audio, and more. Google wants to cut the tether to the desktop, we will see search everywhere. Communication and self-expression will take new forms. Maybe you can talk to your search engine. Hmmm, I think I heard Craig Silverstein say that 3 years ago. What about wearing your search engine?

Implications for the NFAIS audience? Probably not wearable computers. Searches will be from any where, any time. Volume and variety of searchers will explode. Users will demand control. Traditional content and distribution models will change. Deep, rich content in all forms will be the norm. Brand will mean less.

Her upbeat ending is about enormous opportunites, joy and excitement in the information space.

Marydee Ojala
Editor, ONLINE: The Leading Magazine for Information Professionals

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