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Urban Semiotic in Context

We always find it fascinating how memes are passed from one mind to another, and when we started this Urban Semiotic blog in 2004, the binding of “Urban” and “Semiotic” into a single idea was not prevalent or popular. Today, a curious site called provides this odd search return for:

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Fun with Google Apps Mobile

If you aren’t using Google Apps Mobile yet on your iPhone, you need head into iTunes and download it today!  My favorite part of Google Apps Mobile is playing with the Voice Search feature.  You speak it.  Google Apps Mobile will find it on the web for you.  Most of the time.  As you can see in the screenshot below, I did a previously successful search for “cochlear implants” — not an easy or expected couple of words to “get” but Google got ’em — and then I decided to speak “Panopticonic”  to see how astute Google was at blending the new with the known.

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Federally Regulated Search Engine Privacy

Do you believe when you use a search engine online your privacy should be protected when it comes to knowing what you wanted to know?

Do you own your search results or does the search engine “own” your thoughts typed as characters on a screen?

There’s an interesting move afoot to federally regulate and control search engine privacy:

Should search engines be subject to the types of regulation now applied to personal data collectors, cable networks, or phone books? In this article, we make the case for some regulation of the ability of search engines to manipulate and structure their results. We demonstrate that the First Amendment, properly understood, does not prohibit such regulation. Nor will such interventions inevitably lead to the disclosure of important trade secrets.

Now the question becomes: “Who do you trust more to protect your private search queries?”

Google?  Microsoft?  Ask?  Yahoo!?

Or the federal government?

Searching for Meaning and Relevance

When you do a search on the internet, are you more often looking for meaning or relevance? We search for: Meaning in others and relevance in our thoughts.

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Google Custom Search Business Edition Review

Yesterday, The Google announced the availability of their Custom Search Business Edition and I immediately signed up all my websites for inclusion in that keen opportunity.

BEWARE: You can only add THREE domains per Custom Business Search! If you have lots of unified domains across more than three domain names, you will have to split up your domain searches — and pay for them — in groupings of three domains per search box. I added logos to all my Custom Business searches so my visitors will semiotically know which of my sites they are actually searching!

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The New Research: Search Not Read

I read an interesting article the other day that I printed out for safekeeping and then promptly lost.

That article is either here somewhere or it is in a trash bin elsewhere starting its decomposition process.

The ideas the article planted within me, however, are strong and growing into seedlings that I will share with you now for watering or cutting down.

The core of the article argued that “The New Research” means students and faculty and others in need of information no longer read what they refer to or quote: Doing online searches has replaced reading the text. 

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