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Asking the Google-able

Yes, we know that Google has become the appliance of the web. If it were to go out, it would be on the scale (well not really) of losing electric or water. And while some may bemoan that students’ first thought to research is to Google-it, I find myself curious that often people ask me questions that are painfully easily google-able.

Ok, I am in too deep, my natural reflex when I don’t know something, cant find something, need to get an example is command-k; type; return which is the sequence to put my cursor on the Google search field in Firefox, enter my keywords, and go.

This is nothing new, I can remember dealing with this, actually much more, in the late 1990s. Often, it is a request for technologies for doing X. I found, or at least I thought it was more useful in the fishing versus nugget sense, to not just use Google to find and answer and parrot it back (like I really knew it), but to email back a URL string that had the search embedded.

So why do people call or email questions that are so easily found DIY on Google?

As an example, and not to pick on the person that asked, I got a comment on the blog from someone who had seen my 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story presentation at a conference, and was asking for the URL as it was not listed on this blog.

Feeling Lucky?

And it’s more than knowing how to slap keywords in a search field, that is so Google 1.0. Climb the power curve by using quotes, + to force a match and – to remove and … well, I may be looking for stuff from the PBS web site in math but not algebra

And the next level is setting up a GoogleAlert (not to be confused with Google Alerts) for regular updates of content that might be changing, grabbing that as an RSS feed so you can scan in an RSS reader.

So I expect I will continue to get google-able questions and will provide google links as answers.

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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