An interesting report on Search Engine Users, brought to you by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. From the Summary of Findings section, I learned that 87% of searchers indicated that "have successful search experiences most of the time," but that only 38% know the difference between paid and unpaid results. One of the most important skills in using a search engine is to be able to evaluate the results you get. A successful experience is not just getting an answer, it's getting a good answer. If you're searching for a good pizza place for your trip to the Big City, Pizza Hut's paid result might appear first on the list, and you know that's not going to be the best pizza in town. Please, make room for a teachable moment this week and make sure you help a co-worker, family member, or kid understand more about searching. Smart searchers consider the source (reputable? paid ad?) and how recently it was written or posted; they construct a search that will give them a managable number of hits. For more, see this typical guide.
Reading: Bone, by Jeff Smith; Summerland, by Michael Chabon
Capital City weather: cold and windy; about 1/2 an inch of ice from Saturday's storm closed schools for the third school day in a row