In December, the awesome blog ReadWriteWeb posted a couple of great articles about how librarians are needed (and even linked to Michael Porter’s flickr photo of Michael and yours truly battling it out on Guitar Hero). That’s all dandy!
But the ReadWriteWeb just posted Deconstructing Real Google Searches: Why Powerset Matters … I’d add “real BAD Google searches” to that title. Sure, the point of the article was to point out the perils of current search engine searches/results, and to show why a semantic-based or a natural language search engine would be better. And ultimately, that really might be the case.
But my librarian self kicked in as I was reading the post, because the author obviously needed the help of us sexy librarians! Here are the search examples given:
- what are movie spears made out of?
- car hit by bicycle
- Famous science fiction writers other than Isaac Asimov
Librarians… I ask you. Are these good Google queries? Hmm… I’m hearing a resounding “not.”
And this is a great example of why we’re still needed. Yes – there’s the web. Yes – there’s Google. And yes – there are extremely smart people that write great blogs like the ReadWriteWeb. But does that mean everyone knows how to search? What happens if the semantic web or true natural language searching kicked in tomorrow – would that negate us? No – we’d still encounter people asking why they get 50 million hits when they type “I need to find stuff on cars” or whatever into search engines.
I’m thinking we can improve the ReadWriteWeb‘s search examples mentioned in the article – let’s have some fun and help them out (not that they’ll notice, but heck – we can try, can’t we?). So – here are my “better” suggestions on structuring the three search queries:
- what are movie spears made out of? Why not try zulu extras spears instead?
- car hit by bicycle – how about “bicycle accident” “hitting car” or car “hit by bicycle” or even “car damage” bicycle?
- Famous science fiction writers other than Isaac Asimov – hmm… why not try “science fiction author” famous -”isaac asimov” instead?
I found better results … but I don’t consider myself to be an expert searcher by any means. What do you think? How can we improve those searches? Librarians, show your awesome search skills! How would YOU do the three searches?