The future of search – nifty animation from the @guardian

How does a Google search work?

Guardian video

future of search

The Guardian just brought out the above animation (click on the image to play the video – I was unable to embed it in my blog!) explaining how search works. A really useful video that would be good to show at training events on social media.


Last month I switched from an iPhone to an Android device. Since Android is owned by Google I have noticed some of these new search features coming up on my phone. So I might search for a bed and breakfast somewhere and little ‘cards’ pop up after I’ve been searching with information such as how long it will take me to get there from my current location with a link to Google maps. It’s scarily useful!

I was interested to hear about the possible loss of serendipity. I’ve kind of noticed this particularly in using the library at University. If I search on the library catalogue it still works in the ‘old fashioned’ way – it doesn’t say, like Amazon, ‘other users who borrowed this book also borrowed…’ which would actually be really useful. So I’m still finding myself going to the library and literally browsing the shelves. They have a bit of catching up to do!

On the other hand, I thought I had lost serendipity with music. I used to love browsing my local music shop and buying something at random. Now I use the Spotify premium service and I find that I’ve discovered some great new music because it makes recommendations on the types of music you listen to.

Doesn’t it feel weird to be living in the future?!


  1. I think it is much more sinister than losing serendipity. I blogged about it here.

    As for serendipity, the Internet is in danger of becoming four analogue TV channels showing Big Brother and Jeremy Kyle. It began as the place where we sought individual and new experiences. We showed each other cool stuff we’d not seen before. Now when a friend says “have you seen this?” The answer is “yes”.

    Big corporations lost out for a decade whilst we decentralised everything. We became masters of our own destiny. Then government and big corporations worked out how to channel us all back to the same four channels of content they want us to see. Four videos and two of them are cats.


      • As I reflect on the past ten years, this is what I have seen happen. We’re all being channeled to Sky Atlantic.


      • My point is that we’re all back to watching the same five channels. They’ve just spread them out. You now need a remote control so tat you can keep watching the limited stuff people keep watching.

        Did you see Strictly? No? You must have heard the Little Mix single? Really? He won X Factor!

        My life has gone back in time by a decade.

        Lets put the cherry on the top:

        My mother showing me cat videos last month in the pub on an iPhone whilst I say “I’ve already ignored the crap once”. I turn my head. The phone moves to where my eyes are pointed. We’re clearly not heading into a Roddenbury future but an Orwellian on.

        2000AD is coming. Start saving for your belly wheel.


  2. Thanks Bryony for this v v. V helpful link.


    READ FROM A STREET KID It WILL grip and inspire you and even provide you with useful information. With most chapters being no longer than one page there is no need to ‘wait until you have time’.

    An Anglican high level theology researcher at Oxford University and minister who stands in for local churches in need of a preacher has gone a bomb on FROM A STREET KID – keeps topping up her supply, quotes it in sermons, uses it in discussion groups, and now is including ref to it in a popular book she is writing due out at the end this year.

    SO AS I SENT YOU A FREEBY quite a while a ago how about reading it as a BREAK from your studies!

    I must add I read most of your postings for which I thank you g.reatly.

    God bless Tonia Tonia Cope Bowley

    Ps what made you switch From iPad to Android?,

    Sent from my iPad


    • Glad you found it helpful Tonia. I will try and find time to read the lovely book you sent me! I still have my ipad but I’ve switched from an iphone to android partly because it was cheaper.


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