Increasingly I have conversations with people about how search has impacted our lives for the better. There are things you can find on a search engine that would have taken days if they were at all possible previously.
I was reminded of this when I visited my local library last weekend. My husband and I are starting a house project and sought design books to give us some ideas. The task became frustrating when I realized that there was no clear terminology for what we were trying to do, a must to find anything in a library. Is it an built-in bookcase? Inset bookcase? Fixed storage? Will we find books in the remodel area? Woodworking? Storage? We finally hit gold when we found a section with books on storage idea, but this was 45 minutes later.
What struck me, however, was that with a couple of quick searches online I would have had the terminology needed to describe our project and probably would have found some project plans as well.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project is reporting statistics that reinforce the impact that search is having on our lives. There has been a jump in search use by online users in the past year. The number of people using search on a given day jumped from 30 percent to 41 percent of online users.
Though email is still the most common online activity on a given day, search continues to grow closer.
How has search impacted your life? For the better? For the worse?