Searching for Knowledge

in STEMGeekslast year (edited)


I was sitting in my office the other day and a student knocked on my door. She came in and I thought she was going to say she had an issue with her Chromebook. That seems to be what we deal with the majority of the time now that we have moved towards 1 to 1 Chromebooks for the students.

Oddly enough, the student had a question about something other than her Chromebook. She was doing something for a dual enrollment course and she needed to know how to find the "depth" of an image.

I was a bit confused myself as I have never heard that term used in conjunction with height and width of an image. I thought maybe it was talking about "color depth", but I couldn't really be sure.

So I did what any self respecting tech professional would do...

I Googled it.

Sure enough, I was able to find the information that we think she needed and she left a happy camper.

After she left, I found myself going back to a thought that has been kicking around in my head for quite some time now.

It's not about how much you know, it's about how well you can Google.

Ain't that the truth?

I like to consider my self a pretty eclectic person. I like to say I know a little bit about a lot of things. Others might say "Jack of all trades, master of none". The fact is though, I would know even less about a lot of things if I didn't have Google or by default the Internet to fall back on.

I actually used to get a little embarrassed when I would need to Google the solution to a problem in front of someone who I was helping. It doesn't but me as much anymore.

I have found over the years that there is a huge difference between

"knowing how to Google something" and

"Knowing how to Google something"

If you get my drift.

One of the first questions people ask me when they need something fixed is "did you try turning it off and back on?".

It literally drives them crazy that I would suggest something so simple, but you know what... 9 times out of 10, that really does fix the problem. You would be amazed. Keep that one in your pocket. Call it a life lesson from good ole @bozz.

Probably my second favorite question I ask people now is:

"Did you try Googling it?"

Which honestly could probably be considered more patronizing than the first question, because like I said, there is a difference between knowing how to Google something and really knowing how to Google something.

I've found over the years that being able to string together the right words in the right way is somewhat of an art form that can make or break your search results.

Not to toot my own horn, but I feel I have become pretty darn good at it over the years. @mrsbozz is one smart cookie, she has picked up quite a few tech skill being married to this "tech guy", but even she runs into a brick wall when she is Googling an answer.

Inevitably, she will ask for help and more often than not I will find that magic combination of phrases or words that yields the solution.

Just this morning we ran into a bit of an issue setting up some technology for a professional development the teachers are sitting through.

I was able to find the solution on Google and after the fact I kind of had to smile to myself when my worker asked:

"What did you type in to figure that out?"

I had literally already started writing this post. Talk about serendipity!

Keepers of Knowledge

Back in the day, some of you might remember before the Internet, we didn't have the world at our fingertips. If you wanted information on something you had to go to the library or school. You had to find the encyclopedia or hit the card catalog and find a specific book about that topic.

That isn't the case these days, but it doesn't mean the knowledge is easy to find. More accessible yes, but easy to find... only if you know the best way to Google it!

Trust me, my brain is far from spectacular, but there is definitely some weird boolean wiring going on that makes me able to Google so effectively. Maybe I am just lucky. That's probably more likely!

Perhaps it is just years of experience. I was raised on Yahoo, Webcrawler, AtlaVista, Dogpile, Ask Jeeves, Netscape, and Excite. I've had literally decades to hone my web searching skills. Back then things were even harder to find than they are today. This was before cataloged YouTube videos and all of that.

Have you noticed this phenomenon? Do you consider yourself to be a "master searcher"? Do Google queries dance through your dreams and flow from your fingertips like liquid gold?

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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All pictures/screenshots taken by myself or @mrsbozz unless otherwise sourced


Yep, I have to agree. Coming up with the best search queries can be a form of art, especially if you get many unrelated results.

For sure, I guess that is part of the reason search engine optimization is so important. Trying to get eyes on your site with little work on their part.

Pre-internet access at work, I used to have a couple of reference books that I carried with me for quick access. Now I just google it and I find the information quickly.
It has made a world of difference. BTW, I used to use Webcrawler as my first and preferred search engine, lol

I was the same way. I have a Linux command line book that I think is in tatters from before the time that the Internet really picked up and now you can search for everything.

Perhaps it is just years of experience. I was raised on Yahoo, Webcrawler, AtlaVista, Dogpile, Ask Jeeves, Netscape, and Excite. I've had literally decades to hone my web searching skills. Back then things were even harder to find than they are today. This was before cataloged YouTube videos and all of that.

There is your answer indeed, we did not get did and we learned the tricks on a rocky now the google highway is a breeze...unless you never driven your machine down the dirt road called AltaVista.

Great story read it with a smile !CTP

Thanks! I appreciate that. Yeah, those of us who grew up in through the early days have definitely been battle tested. Anyone who has sat and waited for an image to load over dial up has the patience to craft a good search query!

It's not about how much you know, it's about how well you can Google.

For real though! Knowing the right questions to ask is the secret to most of my life success, especially when I was a librarian, offering tech support, and learning how to navigate the blockchain! I still practice the art of Google-fu daily!


I wouldn't be half the tech that I am if it wasn't for Google. It is scary and amazing how often someone has had the exact same issue as you. With so many different setups and components you wouldn't expect that and yet 99% of the time, it's happened to someone else already!

Me too! My favorite saying when I worked at the library was, Someone, somewhere has asked the question and sure enough, like you said, almost always someone has! It's the asking that is the art lol! I'm so thankful for the time we live in and the resources we have. 😊

People often say just google it, but google hides information and it's hard to find good information with google.

I guess I haven't come across that too much. Most of the time I can find what I need. I'm not looking for anything too obtuse though.

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How you format your question can make a big difference in the answer you get. The search engines are a lot better than they used to be and companies work on them constantly to make them even better.

Very true! I guess I am just good at asking questions!

I use presearch :)


So do I. With dsearch. But the topic is general enough for any search engine.

It's all in how you word what you looking for, but I use Presearch & earn crypto for my searches and it gives me the same stuff that google does.


The internet has definitely changed things and for most things, you just need to be able to find it. Sometimes it's tough to narrow it down to what you want so it might take a few tries though.


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