Google Doodles and Search Options

There are many search engines to help us find things on the Internet. In fact, many is an understatement. I found an alphabetical list and only got to the K’s before counting 100! I’m sure you’ve heard of the most popular ones such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, AltaVista, Cuil, Excite, and Lycos. One that I’m not familiar with is GigaBlast. I learned it “was developed by an ex-programmer from Infoseek [and] supports nested boolean search logic using parenthesis and infix notation. A unique search engine, it indexes over 10 billion web pages.” It also claims to be “the leading clean-energy search engine”, whatever that infers.

Years ago I set Google as my homepage because I had a slow Internet connection and wanted an efficient search engine without graphic frills that loaded quickly. Today the frills don’t matter, but I still like Google. Apart from its searching ability I enjoy its Google Doodles.

“Google Doodles are known as the decorative changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists.” It’s a little thing, but I like knowing, for instance, that today is the birthday of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the great Russian composer, and I’m fascinated by the doodle chosen to illustrate the occasion.

The history of Google Doodles is found here, plus there is an archive of all the logo doodles here.

About now I can hear you wondering, “So, does this have anythings at all to do with writing?” But, of course!

Next to the actual writing, research is the writer’s constant occupation. Before the Internet made its way into our homes searching for information was a ponderous process. If you wanted to use a particular place as a story setting you first physically took yourself there to explore and record the necessary details. If you needed historically correct data you haunted the library. Police procedures? Legalities? Medical complications? You sought out and interviewed knowledgeable individuals. Now everything is available at the click of a computer key. There’s no excuse for inaccuracies in our writing.

(There’s also the topic of making yourself visible to others via search engines, but that’s better left for a future post.)

How much and what kind of research do you do for your writing? Which is your favourite search engine?


10 thoughts on “Google Doodles and Search Options

  1. I’m a Googler, totally.

    Unfortunately I find research so fascinating that I spend hours browsing just about any topic that comes to mind while I’m supposed to be writing. I’m not sure how much of my research so far has been necessary, but it has all been fun.

    Right now the topic I’m interested in is mental illness. There are so many to pick from, though, that I can’t make up my mind what’s wrong with my character.

  2. Laura Best says:

    I’m a google girl, I have to admit. I do sometimes use Yahoo, though.

    I have a bit of research to do with my next project but it will be a matter of talking to the right people to get the info I need. There is a bit available on the net but sometimes first hand helps give you a different perspective and helps you really get to know the subject inside and out from the pov of an ordinary person and I like to write about ordinary people.

    • I think it has to be an advantage when you have good resource people that can answer specific questions and provide exactly the information you need — much faster than having to read through reams of info, either online or in books, to extricate the necessary details.

  3. joylene says:

    I should give the others a try, but honestly, Google does it for me every time.

    • I use Google exclusively, too. I don’t know that it’s any better than some of the others, but it always brings up what I need. Mind you, I did read that because of its popularity, among Google’s search results there are sometimes links included that will download viruses, so I’m careful not to click on anything that doesn’t seem to be from a reputable source. With our Macs we aren’t as vulnerable anyway.

  4. Shari says:

    I’m a Googler! The amount of research I do for writing varies. I may do a ton when I’m in the planning stage, then as I’m writing I’ll often Google setting details, characters’ interests, etc., as things come up. And often, one thing leads to another…. There’s just so much cool stuff on the internet!

    • One of the advantages of the Internet for sure is being able to switch to our browser to locate a particular detail while in the middle of writing. We just have to be disciplined about switching back to the writing again! 😉

  5. Jen says:

    I use Yahoo most of the time.

    Cautions about internet research:
    There’s still lots of stuff that’s not available on the internet–and not everything on the internet is a reliable source.

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