Google stories

A Bing search box has turned up at the top of our browsers at work, and I’ve used it a few times, and it’s OK. But I’m still a Google user just because I’m comfortable with it.  So today’s NPR story, “Bing vs. Google: a weeklong experiment” was really intriguing.  National correspondant James Fallows used Bing … or rather, started to use Bing … to track facts for a news story. He found some things missing from Bing, and some missing from Google, and had the best results using‘s side-by-side display of the two.   Try it out!  (Remember Dogpile?)

Another recent Google story in Search Engine Land: Google’s Personalized Results: the “new normal” that deserves extraordinary attention. Earlier this month, Google announced in its blog that personalized search will now be available to signed-out users. While it’s possible to opt out — see the Google Blog story for details — most of the time, most search results will be “customized” to reflect previous searches.  The Search Engine Land story explores the implications.

— Google’s Personalized Results story via Jessamyn West’s the nature of observing disturbs the observed


FDA Social Media hearings

Emerging Technologies Librarian at University of Michigan is posting a series of reports on the November FDA public forum intended to inform FDA’s development of guidelines for their use of social media  (FDASM).  Her posts include commentary as well as links to videos and documents.

Why do we care?  As she says,

The FDA guidelines will very likely shape non-health guidelines for social media and may very well impact on health communications in broader spheres, especially that of information professionals, health advocates, and potentially the general public. Please see for more information on how you can contribute to the dialog.

While the FDA posted two 8-hour videos of the hearings, some of the material has been broken down into more manageable pieces as individual speakers have uploaded their bits to YouTube.  A playlist of these videos (for those who can get to YouTube) has been posted at UM Health Sciences Libraries blog: FDA Social Media Forum Videos: Thought Leaders & Opinions.  The playlist can also be found at The first video in the playlists includes an interview explaining the FDA’s interest in using social media to communicate with the public, referencing the peanut product recall that occurred earlier this year.

Check out Emerging Technology Librarian’s posts on FDASM:

Top 10 web trends 2010

CNN’s list includes technologies that have been around for a while, but might be coming to the fore in the next 12 months:

  1. Real-time: Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging, iPod Internet posting apps, etc. – followed by smartphones, anytime, anywhere
  2. Location-based services, driven by GPS
  3. Augmented reality – Imagine visiting a location in person, receiving information from sources like Wikipedia and restaurant review sites, on your smartphone, based on GPS
  4. Content “curation” – CNN mentions using friends and experts as filters to garner “the best” customized information to counter information overload.  The article doesn’t suggest a role for libraries/librarians!
  5. Cloud computing – apps on a server instead of the desktop.  I was thinking about this while helping set up my mom’s new PC – she only writes letters & documents occasionally, so why buy MS Office if she can get by with Google Docs?
  6. Internet TV & Movies – I seldom record on my VCR any longer, since network programming is free (advertiser supported) at network websites or locations like Hulu
  7. “Convergence conundrum” – some technologies are converging – my phone takes pictures and plays music, so why carry a camera or iPod? On the other hand, some individual technologies are bucking that trend, like the single-purpose eReaders.  The article suggests that eReaders are a fad, but won’t go away in 2010.
  8. Social gaming – anyone for Scrabble (or Farmville) on Facebook?
  9. Mobile payments – big in Asia right now, but hasn’t caught on yet in the US
  10. “Fame abundance, privacy scarcity”  – I’m trying out a new app on my personal laptop that shows headlines all the time – but it seems to lean heavily toward celebrity-based “news.” Does a prediction coming from CNN make this a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Check out the full article: Peter Cashmore, 1o Web Trends to Watch in 2010,