Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Evolution of Search

I seem to spend most of my Internet time searching for information. Whether it is news, pictures, music or videos, I'm always searching for something. Considering that the Internet is huge pile of information, it constantly needs to be organized to make that information accessible and meaningful. And most popular websites today, provide ways to organize and access a variety of information. All this got me thinking about 'search' itself. Where did it all start?

Search has existed for as long as there has been life on Earth. Search began as a means of survival for animals and humans. All living things searched for the basic needs of water, food and shelter. Different search techniques evolved in the process, like tracking the footprints of an animal would lead to food.

Once the basic needs are satisfied, new needs evolve. We are always seeking something. People seek friends, jobs, knowledge and wealth. Companies seek customers, suppliers and other resources. If a need exists, then we need a means to satisfy that need. And we seek the best way to do that. Therefore, we are always in a 'search' mode.

Over the years, as technology evolved, so have our needs. New search tools were born in the process. Books gave rise to indexes and tables of contents. The telephone gave rise to telephone directories. Every new technology generates new information and hence a need for a tool to manage that information.

With the volume of information that has been generated since the advent of the Internet, it is no surprise that we all seek efficient search tools. And companies that provide such tools are successful. Rest assured that when the next big technology comes, we will still be searching.

Man is a 'search' animal and the search will go on!


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