Monday, 16 August 2010

Keyword Searches

I remember my first ever introduction to the Internet. It was, for all intents and purposes, a very long time ago, and taught by a techy geek with long black hair. Joyous.

Keyword searches were the buzz of the moment, using Yahoo Search Engine to find websites. The trouble was, we had NO idea just what we could find on the internet, so our searches tended to focus on things we 'knew'  were there, or things we had seen on TV etc. Searching a search engine for the 'BBC' was as pointless as asking the cashier in Poundland how much something costs.

Once we got past our initial naiveties about the true extent and power of the internet, keyword searches really became the skill to have. Knowing what to enter into the search term to draw up what you wanted in the most accurate and quickest time possible - the skill of a true surfer. We all learnt that anything porn/dirty/connotation orientated would bring up a string of embarrassing search results, and often some dodgy downloads that you REALLY didn't want to have on your family PC. So we honed our skills.

Now, keyword searching enters a whole new realm, as it is no longer a case of 'finding' the information that you want, but 'filtering' through the endless possibilities of information that you could possibly wish to find. Keyword, in a way, no longer quite covers it. Use a social media API to drive your social media accounts, and you get keyword searches that you can specify to the country, origin, spin, positivity and opinion. Not only that, you get this string of code that only a developer would understand to attempt to sift through the mountains of media. Fine, as long as these APIs stand up to the test, as I have no idea quite how or what they are doing. Ignorance is bliss in this case.

But what do you search for? Trending topics? Topics of interest? If so, things like this are a fairly easy search. But that doesn't account for development. Terminologies, genres, subjects are materializing every day, so whilst you might have your keyword searches driving the most up-to-date and current information on your desired knowledge bases, those new key words, acronyms and genres may have well missed your update completely. Blaze about your efficiency of search systems... I wouldn't be. Use them by all means, but get yourself well and truly tweet-decked to stay up with the larks on where the world is truly at.

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