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55 Ways to Have Fun With Google. Go to Table of Contents. Visit Gifcom.

Introduction

This book, in a way, is born out of my daily weblog “Google Blogoscoped” (blog.outer-court.com) and those who read it. Since 2003 I’ve been writing there covering all things Google – not just the fun stuff, but news, discussion, interviews, tutorials, and everything beyond with a relation to search engines. Thanks to those reading along and providing pointers or feedback, I’ve been able to discover more interesting pages and get to know more interesting people around the world than ever before.

When I think of Google, first and foremost I think of its role to discover knowledge, people, and people’s thoughts. Search engines are truly one of the first emergents of a global brain, and in good tradition of Gutenberg’s inventions in the technology of printing, of the invention of the internet, and later the invention of the World Wide Web. All those bring us closer together by speeding up the rhythm in which we communicate.

So there we have it, for the first time in history: search, the key to instant knowledge. And what do we do with it? Silly things. OK, not exclusively. But silliness is a part of it. People googlewhack, googlebomb, or egogoogle. People create parodies of Google. They create search engine contests. Magic tricks, riddles and art based on Google. They have a lot of fun with Google, and get together to play games on top of Google services. Even Google Inc themselves send out April Fool’s jokes every year, and  celebration logos many times a year. Oh, humanity!

But behind many of the playful creations surrounding that giant Google toy, there are serious lessons to be learned. Of the 55 ways to have fun with Google presented here, some ways indeed teach us something; about life, Google, and how to become a better searcher. And the rest of the ways? Well, seriously, they’re really just there to have fun. And I hope you enjoy!