Posting to Autocat
On 10/12/2010 11:36 AM, Janet Hill wrote:
>> I think we do know what people search for. They search for information. That information has properties that they may not consciously categorize, but which can be categorized — at least vaguely — either in advance/theory, or in retrospect.
>> It’s information ….
>> information about: What it’s about; what it means; who did it; where is it; can I get it; is it animal, vegetable or mineral; is it bigger than a breadbox and smaller than a cow; etc.
>> information about: People, places, things, existence, relationships
>> (Some people may click at random, or type in search strings at random, just to see what comes up. But since they are random, and in pursuit of nothing that can be defined, it’s fruitless to plan for them, and pointless to feel inadequate for not having provided for them)
I guess I am fated to be the eternal skeptic, but I don’t know if even this is correct about people searching for information. In this sense, it is similar to the question: why do people go to the library? Is it to search for information? Partly, but I think we all know that they go for other reasons as well: for diversion, for novelty, for inspiration, if you’re lucky, to hear other people talk about something you had never thought of before, and so on. This is not random, but something else. I think people approach many websites, and even the search box in the same way, and are doing even more with modern tools (and will doubtless continue to develop in the future). Who knows what tools such as Facebook, or Mendeley will turn into?
Again, if we insist on shoehorning everything into FRBR, we probably can, just as in my previous example of the horse & buggy person saying that a car and a horse & buggy are really the same. The horse & buggy guy may even be able to convince another horse & buggy guy that horses & buggies are the same as cars, but nobody outside the horse & buggy industry else will believe it, especially those people in the car industry.