We will see vast proliferation of content, repeatedly repeated, over and over. Links back and forth. Relationships forming and breaking everywhere.
I pity the engines, Google in particular, because they are predisposed to deciding what constitutes good content by analysing inbound links or internal linking or themeing. But in web 2.0 content will be everywhere, constantly duplicating, being mashed into this format, that format, assembled into this mash-up, that folksonomy (user-generated word, a word invented to serve a purpose).
Engines will have to get smart about context. There is often a difference between the meaning that I have when I say something, and the meaning you perceive when the words enter your mind.
So if the same content is available in 20 different places, then which one should I be sent to? Google will have to figure out what context I am coming from and then “remember” which contexts the various 20 copies of the content are being used in, and send me to the copy of the content which most closely matches the meaning I am looking for.
I hope that makes sense, because IMO that is what social software is building up to: adding meaning. I take your content and add MY meaning to it. You take my RSS feed from this site and mash it into YOUR site, giving it a whole new meaning. You’ve added to my content, by mashing it into your site.
Social software is not there yet, we’re not yet adding meaning. Del.ico.us doesn’t add meaning, it just collates and exposes in a more useful way. Technorati also doesn’t add meaning, it collates and exposes. Social software is not yet mature, it’s in it’s infancy.
However, I still own my content, you can’t tamper with it, and if I include YPN in it, you must honor my YPN and allow me to keep earning from my content indefinitely. I put my blood and sweat into writing this, so I should keep earning from it. You can use it, but you must honor my ownership, for example provide a link back to me etc.