So you’re feeling pretty good about how savvy you are as a netizen? You’ve been around since it was DARPA Net? You can enter the perfect mix and word order on AltaVista, Excite, or Lycos, and get the exact site you need to answer your query? You think you could have written “Google Hacks” better because you know more about how to manipulate and utilize Google?
I’ve been around the ‘net for a long time. I remember when IRC was the cool new way the students and researchers at Duke and UNC would “talk” to each other about whatever. I used to be an AltaVista snob as it was the only search engine worth while.
The author of “Google Blogoscoped” has me beat. If there’s anything you want to know about Googling, this site probably has it. And the best part is, it surprisingly well written.
Why “surprisingly” you ask? Most übergeeks are great at being geeks. They got that way by completely ignoring grammar, spelling, and vocabulary in favor of being “733t” by writing things like “ur 2 gr8” and “OU812”. (Okay so the last one is a Van Halen album…sue me.) The author of this site writes very well, and will teach you something.
I found myself still reading the site about 90 minutes later, trying out the various “Googleisms”, totally lost in time, and not really caring. Maybe it’s the geek in me, but I really enjoyed the research, writing, and attention to detail in this site.
Initially, I didn’t think I’d like it much. Truthfully, the graphics and layout weren’t that great, but still not bad. I didn’t find myself running for the closest Boeing 737 looking for a barf-bag. I just didn’t like it much.
Then, I started reading. Once I started reading, I started learning. Once I started learning, I got sucked in. The article about what to expect from Google over the next 17 years is really insightful. I kind of like the idea of telling my computer “I’m hungry but too lazy to cook” and having my computer search Google, let me know there are no tables available at my local chinese food joint, but offer to place a take out of my “usual” or suggest another place close by.
The content of this site is for the geek, or wannabe-geek in many of us. Although I can’t recommend this site for the average ‘net newbie, those of us wearing the Internet Merit Badge will find it interesting, informative, and enjoyable.
A few small suggestions I’d like to make…
1. A clearer definition between the posts. It’s a little hard to tell when one starts and another begins. Especially when you’re really into what’s being learned. It’s a good thing the writing is good enough to keep you interested, but when you realize you’re off on some tangent, you end up looking back a paragraph or two to see you’ve already finished the article and are on a different one.
2. Use a serif font. This is just a personal pet peeve. I much prefer to see a serif font used when I’m reading typefaces that size. It’s easier on the eyes and helps the flow. I wouldn’t count off anything for this at all, though since it’s just a personal preference, and I’ve even worked on sites where I just get a “feeling” about using a sans-serif font.
3. Clean up the graphics. I’d like to see the graphics be as pleasing as the writing. Initially, they were distracting, but that was only until I finished the second paragraph.
Outside of those few little things, I find this site to be written with a level of confidence, and a level of Google expertise. It keeps your attention, and has an amazingly good flow. Keep up the good work.Google Blogoscoped