Suggestive Search

Yesterday Dana was using my iBook and needed to search for something, so she started typing in Firefox’s quick search bar. Then she says to me “So, been looking for college girls, eh?” (She asked it jokingly. I think.) Which surprised me a bit, mainly because I hadn’t been searching for college girls, but also because I almost never use the quick search bar. I’ve been using Mozilla’s keyword feature for so long, I’m wired into just hitting command-L, and then ‘gg’ followed by the term I am searching for. (Notice the small grey text ‘Suggestions’ below.)

Search Suggestions

So just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I checked it on another install of Firefox, and the same thing happened. You can also see this in action if you go to Google Suggest and type in ‘co’. At least it worked for me just now. Oh, Google does have this to say:

Google Suggest might offer suggestions that you will find novel or intriguing.

Novel or intriguing indeed. Anyway, it’s a good idea to know about this suggestive search feature the next time someone thinks your search history includes something you were not searching for. Not that there’s anything wrong with searching for whatever you’re searching for…


Google BS?

Hooray! Google Blog Search!

I am searching for Oconomowoc

Results of Google Blog Search

Hey, a related blog! It’s a Blogspot blog…

Oh, another spamblog… :(


The Curse of the Middle

Don’t you hate being in the middle? I mean, I ask you this assuming you are one of those people in the middle somewhere. All you experts and know-nothings can stop reading right now…

What is “The Curse of the Middle” you ask? It’s simply being in a position of being good and/or knowledgable at something, maybe better than a lot of people, but just not an expert. Mark at BrainWagon hit on this recently in a podcast when he said “People who don’t draw think that I draw reasonable well, people who actually are artists think that I draw terribly.” Bam! That nails it.

I sometimes feel I’m doomed to the middle. To always be a middler. Stuck. Never to go up (please?) or down (hopefully!) It’s like that episode of Seinfeld title "The Opposite" where Jerry is “even Steven” and things just always work out, no big wins, no big losses.

So on to my area of expertise… I don’t know if I have one. If I do, I can’t quite see it. I mean, I dabble in a lot of different technologies, Linux, Mac OS X, Perl, HTML, syndication, MySQL, automation, and on and on but I just don’t consider myself an expert on any of them. Why is that!? It is just me? I mean, other people think I’m an expert on things, of course this is just due to them not knowing as much as I do about a subject. How can I be an expert when there are people who know 10 times more than I do, and are 10 times better than I am, and are looked up to as experts?

The last time this subject came up in a career-type question it was sort of explained that I was someone who was not an expert in any one thing, but had very broad experience in many different things… Is that it? Am I ok with that? Should I even care about this “expert” thing?

It’s all so very confusing…

I used to work at a place where I was convinced if anyone else figured out that Google existed I’d lose all value. I suppose back then my expertise was in finding answers no one else could.

Does it all have to do with the pool you swim in? Is it all relative? I mean, at home I am the “computer expert” but if I go to a LUG meeting that might not be the case. That’s the geo-angle, but expand that to the internet, what does it take to be an expert at something on the big old internet? (I don’t even want to think about it!)

What makes an expert anyway? I know this guy who is often amazed at some of the things I come up with. To him I guess I’m an expert. He tells me I should write a book, and I pass it off. Of course we’ve learned that you can make more money selling the book than writing the book, but which one will make you an expert? An expert at what? The subject of the book, or the subject of selling books?

Anyway, I thought about it a bit more and told him “I am writing a book, it’s just on the internet!”

(New chapters daily!)