Search vs. Discovery
First, let’s dive into this apparent debate between search and discovery. The essential idea is that the increasing popularity of discovery-based sites can be attributed to our desire to involve more of our senses in our online activities. Content with both visual and audio components trumps plain text. Just look at the ever-increasing popularity of YouTube or Facebook to confirm this trend. Of course, it depends on the purpose of your online session. If you need to find hard data or quotes to defend your blog post thesis, there’s nothing better than a Google search. On the other hand, if you’re not really sure what you’re seeking – if you’re just browsing the headlines or looking to amuse yourself for a few minutes, what could be better than Flickr, Tumblr, or even Google+. Clearly, we humans have a need for both types of content and both ways of finding it. What we may not be thinking about is how to make our content more “discoverable” on the browsable sites.