The absurdity of the Google

In addition to a visitor from Singapore who found the blog, I have now been Googled by someone who was searching the phrase “she’s too tall”. I made that remark in reference to my 6-year-old’s major academic challenge, but it turns out to have been the title of a movie, and I’m hoping that’s what someone was looking for. But having seen just a snippet of my site with those words in it, that brave soul decided to come on in and see what was going on. It warms the cockles, it does. I’d say it seems odd, but I do the same thing — it’s the side searches that are more interesting than what I was actually looking for. For a while, I mourned the loss of the library card catalogs, and not just because I loved the scent of oak and manila card stock, but because I often found things by accident that were more interesting than what I was actually looking for. In fact, my willingness to be so diverted may explain much of my academic career. But the ability to browse was powerful. For a long time, the computerized library catalogs that replaced the old cards were hyper-efficient, delivering pretty much only what you were looking for, and sometimes barely even that, and the delightful chance encounter was lost. In libraries with closed stacks, that effectively meant the end of browsing.
But now there’s the web, and Google, and the likelihood is that you’ll find exactly what you’re searching for, and you’ll probably find something else interesting, too. Or at least I’m hoping that someone looking for information on a movie thinks the academic challenges of my first-grader are interesting. At least more interesting than a movie whose best-known stars were Corey Feldman and Brigitte Nielsen.
You just know that’s going to generate even more Googling….

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