Enjoyed this set of articles, via Jeremy Keith, exploring the difference between directories and search engines for modelling and accessing information. The difference, briefly:
Search engines put their money on computation, or to use today’s parlance, algorithms (or if you’re really shameless, AI). Directories put their money on humans. Good ol’ information architecture.
There’s an underlying yearning, in Jeremy’s discussion and the articles, for the directory model—if only because it’s been so utterly abandoned in mainstream websites these days.
I also wonder about that ephemeral middleground, of tags / tagging: not necessarily hierarchically organized, possibly computer-identified, yet still infinitely more concrete than an open search box. A directory lite, of sorts.