Imagine your were this guy and your thankless job was to sit at a desk all day answering all the world’s questions.
My 4 year old niece by my elder sister has reached that inquisitive 3-9 year stretch when they ask the most inane, profound, axiomatic and fundamentally hard to answer questions. She is tenacious too.
Upon the birth of her brother-over whom she has made her resentment at being replaced as the baby clear- she was full of questions.
We started with the old age dreaded one: Where do babies come from? People buy them. ( I mean the truth is a little over PG.) You mean like from supermarkets? Err, Yes. So we get to choose which brother I want? Ah, it’s a little more complicated than that. Why? Where does the sun come from? What’s it made of?…
I am starting to dread every time I have to mind her. A feeling which, I am sure, Google would certainly feel about the entire internet populace if he was a person.
Just to create an understanding of this aspect of what if Google was a guy the good folks at College Humor have created a three part (currently) series of short videos of Google as a poor guy whose thankless job is to sit behind a desk and answer all the world’s questions.
While in 2012 Google was getting a daunting 2 million searches per minute this year this number increased two-fold to 4 million searches per minute which translates to close to 3 billion question per day.
One can only imagine what percentage of this is absolute gibberish. Poor Google not only has to return timely results of people’s searches but he also has to correct spelling mistakes, ( no results for Miss Pee did you mean Mississippi?) anticipate what people want based on the search term even if the keywords are different, ( just so you know there is a difference between girls college and college girls: a big difference) and offer better alternatives ( your search download Firefox and Google has to tell you about its Chrome wonder).
All this is done under the watchful eyes of the NSA, a character wearing an 007 apparel hiding behind a desk and popping only to deal with those making seemingly terrorist searches.
In an apparent jab at how the Prism project is flawed a simple spelling mistake in searching for “terror pictures” instead of intended “terrier pictures” quickly gets the attention of the NSA spook. Some search terms like “where is my son Nathan” draws a blank.
Humor aside, most people in the tech world would be lost without Google as would be most people in general. The search engine is so dominant it has become synonymous with the internet itself. A lot of people would find their ability to navigate the internet severely impaired if for some reason the site was to go down even for a short time.
A perusal of some of the top Google searches of all time and the currently trending one shows how people misuse the search engine. One of the top searches on Google is “google”. I mean can it be more axiomatic than this.
Despite its popularity people still prefer to go on Facebook by googling “facebook” instead of typing facebook.com or fb.me in their address bars. In 2013 the top animal search term was “dog” and it still is the top animal keyword while the top search term for food it was “banana”. I mean how do you answer that? A guy walks up to you and says “dog” then waits expectantly for an answer.
The effects of doing this range from harmless to dangerous. For example using Google to land onto your banks’s online banking site can be a very dangerous game if say a scammer was to create an identically looking site, you clicking on the fake site’s link in the search results page thus enabling the scammer to steal your password before redirecting you back to your bank’s site thus stealing your online banking password in the process.
The College Humor folks really bring the plight of Google to life with their comic strips and I am sure most people will find the humor appealing and educational in improving your search skills. If you don’t get the humor then or do not see how the questions asked by the users in the strip are funny then you need a crash course in how to use Google.
With more and more Zimbabweans learning how to use the Internet and the power that Google avails to us it is important to Laugh and learn.And Oh by the way, the guy called Bing whose office next door is completely free and never gets to answer a question in his entire workday.
Picture Credit: YouTube