It wasn’t that long ago when we called location-based search ‘looking it up in the Yellow Pages’. And a new business that happened to miss a printing deadline would be shut out of a year’s worth of potential finds.
Now, when our fingers do the walking they’re probably on a keyboard.
Mine were recently when I was trying to find a 10 month old article with some data I needed. I wasn’t sure of the pub date, but I knew the outlet and reporter. Yet after several different permutations of search terms on Google and the media site, I came up empty-handed. And then, of course, I started to doubt my recollection because it wasn’t validated online.
Now, this may seem quaint, but I still clip stories I like from newspapers and magazines and keep them in file folders. They’re sorted in rough chronological order; rough, that is, because if I take out a clip, I’ll usually return it to the front of the file. Not exactly scientific, but it works.
I was pretty sure I had the article, so I started leafing through the papers and sure enough found it in a couple of minutes. Then, armed with details from the hard copy, I was also able to get it online.
And it made me realize that we’re so reliant on certain web 2.0 tools – which do a spectacular job in most cases. But old-fashioned searching (and library research, for that matter) – can be just as effective for finding results.