Are search engines bad for the Web? And: what’s the future of the internet anyway?

Two of my things have hit the internet. First up, an op/ed on Google’s ever-increasing usefulness:

There’s no doubt that search engines are getting smarter, which is generally a good thing. However, they’re guilty of something called Mission Creep: that is, they’re doing more and more work. In the good old days search engines were facilitators, dumb actors that didn’t actually know anything but knew where you could find what you needed.

Now, they’re attempting to be oracles. Instead of showing you where to find the answer, they want to tell you the answer; instead of taking you to the right destination, they want to *be* the destination. That’s an important difference, and it’s bad news for webmasters.

Then, a feature I did for PC Plus about where the UK internet is heading:

…it looks rather like our creaking transport system: overloaded, prone to jams at the most inconvenient of times and under constant surveillance. Only Britain could take the idea of an information superhighway and try to turn it into the M6.