[Air-l] Looking for good search-engine literature

Ben Peters bjpeters at gmail.com
Mon May 15 23:24:01 PDT 2006


I'm Ben Peters, a doctoral student at Columbia struggling with how to study
search-engines. There's the problem of plenty: searching search-engines
produces a library of material with no card catalog. There's the problem of
self-reflection: studying search-engines through search-engines makes one
pause to consider. Must one remove herself from the medium in order to study
it (and other second-order issues)? But how else can one study a subject so
young, except by using it to study itself? And there's the problem of
posterity: search-engines seem to be evolving so quickly, with the web they
index, that one struggles to step back from detailing a close search-engine
genealogy to view the larger historical role search-engines may be having
upon society. The species of search-engines is as important as their
specifics manifestations.

Plus I'm sure there's at least a billion other problems I haven't happened
upon yet.

Anyway, I've got a month to devote to this topic right now. Someone throw me
an anchor, please: citations to institutions, people, books, articles,
sites, or any related discussion would be hugely appreciated.

Pleasantly perplexed,


bjpeters [at] gmail.com
bjp2108 [at] columbia.edu

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