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Gerry McGovern comments on Google and IM

His article title is Google changes information management and discusses, with his usual directness and humour, how Google has changed the face of information management (IM) - key quote for me (and probably all the organisations I have ever worked for):
In many situations it is easier to find something on a website by using the public Google search engine than by using the website’s own search engine. This is an incredible situation. Think about it. Google, which indexes 12 billion pages, is doing a better job than, for example, a search engine that indexes 12,000.
And his reasoning as to the why is totally on the head:
A great many organizations simply don’t professionally manage their information. They simply store it.
I would, however, add that Google isn't just changing IM, they are taking it out of the hands of the highly paid, jargon using and loosely-coupled-to-reality IM practitioners. They are also forcing it away from IT departments and back into the hands of those that care - those looking to use information. In essence they are "commodifying" the first 2 parts of information management:
  1. Availability - it hasd to be 'out there'
  2. Findab-ility - I have to be able to find it (search, browse, link ...)
And I applaud them - my mantra for "findability" when it comes to search is, "Make it as good as Google". Why wouldn't you - it's what the public want, it's what the public use and it's what the public knows.

I do, however, understand how hard that is - ease of use, excellence in results and presentation are all items that Google spend many many $s on and have extremely clever people applying their considerable brains to. No excuse for not trying AND, if you can't do it then just use Google - after all, they are selling you a commodity, swallow your pride IT people and just buy it.

That's not the whole picture though with the 3rd tenant of IM, usability - once you've got your info you must be able to use it - an address must get you to the place you're wanting to be, a contact must get you in touch with the person or a book review must let you get your hands on the book.

Whilst Google are working hard at this it is an area that is not, yet, merely a piece of functionality that you can buy and plug in. Yet.