Friday, December 30, 2005

Staccato signals of constant information

I had to park my car at O'hare airport for a few days. I googled "ohare parking" and saw this ad ("sponsored link") among many:
Pride O'hare Park $7.50 Family Owned - 24 Hr - Free Shuttle Free Online Reservations!
I clicked on the link and made my reservation.

So internet advertising does work after all and can save you a little money ($13-$7.50=$5.50/day). Ok, that might not be news to most people but I think what's so cool/elegant is how effective plain text can be; and that's what people seem to like about the Google aesthetic. There isn't a need for fancy images, just compose a short line of text with important details such as the price and the effectiveness-per-bit of your ad goes through the roof.

Now that I've used Pride Parking; I'm also happy to report that I don't have any complaints --- they're friendly and prompt and my car was in the state I left it (I could quibble that the actual rate is $8.25/day if you include taxes, but a little misrepresentation in advertising is to be expected). It's nice to see tiny businesses benefit from the internet.

In other news about Google is this anecdote from the British Medical Journal [via 3quarksdaily]:

For all the benefits technology provides, it does provoke anxiety. In a recent letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, a New York rheumatologist describes a scene at rounds where a professor asked the presenting fellow to explain how he arrived at his diagnosis. Matter of factly, the reply came: "I entered the salient features into Google, and [the diagnosis] popped right up." The attending doctor was taken aback by the Google diagnosis. "Are we physicians no longer needed? Is an observer who can accurately select the findings to be entered in a Google search all we need for a diagnosis to appear—as if by magic?"...
Google has won the battle of the search engines, at least for the time being (see example in table), and its more serious minded offspring, Google Scholar, is rapidly gaining ground. Within a year of its release Google Scholar has led more visitors to many biomedical journal websites than has PubMed (J Sack, personal communication, 2005). Once they discover it, many medical students and doctors prefer Google Scholar...
I have found the same about Google Scholar. It's hard to imagine what research was like before search engines. And Google Scholar often brings up more relevant results than the search engines of the journal's own website.


Post a Comment

<< Home