Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Death of the Human-Centric URL?

I have started to notice that conference presenters are leaning away from publishing the URLs to their work. Often they simply say something like, "just Google the name of the project." It is interesting that Web search engines have become good enough that we are now relying on them to indirectly address material. We use them to enable us to tell stories (which humans remember more easily) instead of directly giving an address. Many of my colleagues now take a similar approach to Web browser bookmarks. Why bookmark when searching is often faster?

Are we seeing the death of the URL as a human-centered address in the way that the Domain Name Service replaced our need to directly communicate IP addresses? If we are not communicating URLs directly to humans, do we need to spend so much time making them human-readable?

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