The Formation of a Standard Reference, Re-Visited

By Deane Barker on August 13, 2006

About a year ago, I opined that Wikipedia was quickly becoming a “standard reference,” meaning it was a base repository of information about a subject — the starting point. This is reflected in how high Wikipedia rates when searching for notable people.

What I think this points to is the emergence of “super sites” — Web sites so popular and well-cited that they transcend “standard” search results and become the expected location for information about that person.

To test the theory back then, I searched for eight people, and listed how high in the ranks their Wikipedia page appeared. A year later, I thought I should do it again, and the results bear me out. In most cases, the Wikipedia page was markedly higher in the results than a year ago.

Back then, I also postulated that IMDb was going to be the same for entertainment personalities. Sadly, half of the people I checked where already 1st, so there’s not much to compare — they’re still first.

Will Amazon do the same for books? I looked over on my bookshelf, and Googled for the first few books I found:

In the three cases where the book wasn’t first, it was only behind the “official” site of the book, from the author or associated company. Interesting.

What This Links To
What Links Here


Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.