How does a Google search work?
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.