Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

No useful search results? Post a blog entry for future searchers to find and help you with in the future.

Hilarious--there was a fellow co-op student I hadn't heard from in 6 years, and I couldn't find his contact info, so I decided to spring a "googletrap" for him. That is, I posted a blog entry for him to find when he searched for his name.

And 18 months later, he happily did, and got in touch with me.

There must be an existing term for this sort of "googletrapping" or "futuresearching"--basically, having found no search results to one's satisfaction, creating a blog entry for future searchers to find and contact you about with the desired information. Works great for error messages that turn up no search results--you post the error message in a blog entry and some months later get an email from someone who "was getting the same error message and here's what I did", or at least was getting the same error message, like you has no idea how to solve it, but offers sympathy and condolences.


  • Awesome. I've done this by accident, but the idea of doing it on purpose...

    By Blogger CloCkWeRX, at 8/14/2006 6:46 AM  

  • I've also thought about creating blog entries featuring the names of friends/relatives who have died and have no presence on the net. I just wanted them to somehow continue existing, even if only in name and online.

    By Blogger Phil Gyford, at 8/14/2006 7:41 AM  

  • I have thought of it as "conversation seeding". It's very much like the processes of crystallization or rain drop formation; where there is a seed to build on, the crystal or rain drop will take shape naturally, but in the absence of it, the process might not happen at all or be severely delayed.

    By Blogger Johan Sundström, at 8/14/2006 11:33 AM  

  • clockwerx--ha!

    phil--beautiful idea.

    johan--another beautiful idea!!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 8/18/2006 12:41 PM  

  • As far as I can tell, the specific situation described in your first paragraph is called "reverse ego surfing". See FoRK archives, or a variant that I tried a few years ago, identifying an firewall-hidden weblog (Pyscerocha) without actually linking to it. .

    I don't know of a term for the more general situation described in the rest of your entry.

    By Blogger scruzia, at 8/27/2006 5:42 PM  

  • scruzia--thanks for that, and for the references to prior art!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 8/27/2006 7:03 PM  

  • I'm following Ada and Johan and calling this "googleseeding"

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 9/02/2006 11:24 PM  

  • Great idea, now let's just see if I get Pamela Anderson's phone number from it :)

    By Anonymous Bonez, at 10/29/2006 6:03 AM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/06/2007 7:32 AM  

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