Friday, September 9, 2011

Blogging and Browsing

Lately I've been thinking about the concept of browsing.  Whether it's done in a library, bookstore, yard sale, or online, browsing offers us the luxury of a leisurely examination of information.  I remember when I used the internet for little more than browsing, it felt like shopping and voyeurism rolled into one.  However, somewhere along the way I stopped browsing and started searching.  Search engines and search features within sites have all but done away with our need to browse for information, delivering instant results to match our criteria.  I realize now that there was an element of pleasure that was lost when I began treating my computer as an encyclopedia.

Blogging, or at least browsing through others' blogs is one way to bring that element of leisure back to the examination of information we do online.  I can look all I want without obligation to reply.  I might even learn something.  Other web technologies, like Flickr, offer the same browsing pleasure I've been missing without even knowing I was missing it!  Maybe that's what prevented me from keeping up with technology this long, it had lost its' appeal.  I'm definitely interested now and am working at trying to piece together exactly how the bricks-and-mortar library fits into the puzzle.


  1. Krug has a lot to say about searching and surfing in chapter 6. My husband and best friend are definitely surfers. I'm a searcher. A demographic study about this would be very interesting.

  2. Browsing the stacks is something I'll really miss if (when?) libraries move away from print collections. You can browse a catalog of e-books, I guess, but for me it's not the same as picking up a book, reading the back cover, skimming a few pages--and then maybe stumbling across that amazing novel you've always wanted to read on the next shelf. (So yeah, I suppose that makes me a surfer...)

  3. That's one of the things I liked about Flickr's Interestingness feature - just a collection of beautiful/interesting images that can set you off on so many paths by picking one of the related tags (a country or topic or whatever) or checking out the photographer or artist's other work. No plan or purpose other than to explore something that catches your interest.