Monday, October 16, 2006

Do You Have A Leadership Otaku?

In Purple Cow, Seth Godin introduced me to the term Otaku: an interest that is more than a hobby but less than an obsession. When I first read his Otaku chapter, (Actually, I listened to it. For some reason, I like listening to Seth Godin more than reading him.) I thought to myself, “Otaku…now that could be a good thing but probably not all of the time.” That Otaku is considered a Japanese pejorative is a good indication that Otaku is not the be-all and end-all of positive character traits. Apparently, living on just-this-side of obsessive has its down side.

On a seemingly unrelated thought, I have to admit, I have a love hate relationship with Google.

I love all the stuff that you can do with Google’s Personalized Home option. Do you need access to all the RSS feeds you watch, anywhere in the world? Google Reader is your answer. Do you need to keep tabs on the latest news of your choice, anywhere in the world? Google applets offer an endless variety of news. Do you need to play a Sudoku anywhere in the world? The CountToNine applet on Google offers Sudoku on command. Yes, Google has a lot to love, but not everything.

The think I hate about Google is searching. Maybe it’s because I’m so bad at “Search Wordifying” the concepts I’m looking for. It’s not that I have a limited vocabulary, and I’m actually pretty good at stringing together searches using the tricks outlined in the Google Cheat Sheet. I’ve even figured out how to use Advanced Operators with my Google searches. But, for the life of me, I can not move beyond the inept stage when it comes to finding anything but the simplest concepts using Google search.

My daughter told me that the reason I was having so much trouble is because I’m searching for concepts rather than words. Herein are the seeds of my hatred for Google. Google encourages us to think in terms of words made popular by links rather than concepts. So, the concept I have to search for, words with links, isn’t necessarily the concept I’m looking for. In so doing, Google dilutes the power of the material it is supposed to be helping us find; particularly if we can’t find it.

So, if anyone from Google is listening, here’s the deal. I’ll give up my Reader, News and daily Sudoku if you will quit squandering the yotta-joules of Google brainpower on applets and build a concept search engine to replace search wordification.

So, what is the first concept that I would search if Google developed a concept search engine? How about this one, “Why do smart business people act stupidly by allowing themselves to become obsessed with leadership as the cure-all for poor execution and performance?” Until them I suppose I could search on “Leadership Otaku” but I’m pretty sure where that will get me.

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Take care…

John

1 comment:

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