A great invention

I’ve thought of a great invention.  Something that we could all really use.

We all, now, have access to the internet in one way or another – even if it’s only by going to the local library – so wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of global interconnection of all the available information.

I’m talking about some method whereby people like you and I could just type in a short question, and have the answer appear on the screen within minutes.

Do you understand what I mean?
Like, you could type in ‘boulogne-sur-mer dog-friendly cottage rental’ and be given a list of cottages in boulogne-sur-mer you could rent where you could take your dog with you.
You know – it would give you what you asked for….

A facility to specify the results you want, and only get webpages that match your requirements.  And the ability to go from one page to another, simply by clicking on the link.

I see it as been like a mesh, where you can start at any point and travel in any direction, and still arrive at the right destination.  I know!  Think of a net curtain – you can make a big hole in it, but all around the hole is still connected.  You can reach from one side of the hole to the other by going around the hole.

Now imagine that each join or ‘connection’ in the net curtain is a computer, and you can see a net curtain of computers – only it covers the whole world.  A world wide net curtain!  (Actually, I wonder if a spiders web might work better as an analogy…?  Ah well, too late now.)

Now, by this point, you may be thinking ‘don’t we already have that?’  And I see your point, I really do…

Sadly, though, we don’t have that.  We used to, but not any more.

If you do the search I suggested above in my favourite search engine, the first result is for Calais.  Calais is around 25 miles away, which is close, but too far to walk.  If you follow the link, you find yourself on an agency website listing dozens of properties near Calais, none of which accept dogs.
Out of the first ten results, only four even mention boulogne, and only two mention dogs – seven of them are agency sites, and one is a genealogy site!
Only one of the sites has any promise at all – and I can’t view it because of bad design.

So, I can’t find the information I want.

Strange thing is, I have almost two decades of experience in searching the internet.  Near enough twenty years ago I was teaching novices how to find anything they wanted – I could find the answer to any question in under ten minutes.
Now, I spend ten minutes listing all the things I don’t want to see!

Searching for a local business, I have to specifically exclude results from America, New Zealand, and Thailand – oh, and the other UK town with the same name.
There is no facility to narrow results down by location or age – you just have to accept all results, regardless of relevance.

(My favourite search engine does have a facility to narrow results down to only pages created within the last day, week, month, or year – but for some reason no webpages have been created in the last year!)

Of course, you can always do what the business owners want you do to do: you can hand control over to them.  Just tell them what you want, and give them all your money.

Don’t think, just spend, that’s their idea.

For me, though, I’m going back to the old method: I’m going to ask a total stranger on the street.  I trust them more than I trust somebody who will spend thousands of pounds trying to get my trust.



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