Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Google Moves from Information Organizer to “Knowledge Facilitator”

If you needed another indicator that the future’s learning will be on the social web, look no further than an April 11 SEC filing filed by Google executives. They have dissolved their “search” group internally and reorganized it as a “knowledge facilitator,” pointing to another in a long series of clues that social learning has escaped the box of traditional bricks and mortar based education institutions.

The web seems to be designed exclusively for learning. If you want to know something, you search for it, and find expert sources that can provide you with answers in your quest.

Well, some people at Google know this. According to a TechCrunch report today, Larry Page wants to help organize people’s understanding,  not just the world’s information.

Manber says “The challenge posed to us by Larry, Sergey and Eric was to find a way to help people share their knowledge. This is our main goal.”

These product efforts have generally been led by Manber in the past. And they remain in the search/knowledge group today.

Here’s how Google currently views the group. Remember that previously they split it up between Mayer (product) and Manber (engineering). But today Eustace is the overall lead. Manber reports to Eustace and focuses on finding ways to improve the knowledge out there and to encourage more high quality content creation, whether it’s on Google’s servers (Knol) or not.

Amit Singhal, Manber’s peer, focuses on the more traditional goals of search, such as the recent algorithm changes called Panda targeting content farms.

One way of thinking of this, says a source with knowledge of the group, is this. Singhal does the weeding (removing and pushing down low quality content in search), and Manber is focused on the seeding (encouraging “good stuff” to grow).

This isn’t supposed to be information that helps outsiders understand how Google operates, which is probably why Google made the SEC statement in as few words as possible and didn’t publicize it at all. Instead, it’s to make sure that the team inside Google understands that they aren’t just working on search. It’s not just about organization, it’s about enhancement of knowledge.


Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. […] Google Moves from Information Organizer to “Knowledge Facilitator” ( […]

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