A Search Competition

By bryblumbryblum (1222703913|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Introduction- Who Am I?

Alright, so here we go. My first ever blog. Well, actually it isn't - I kept a blog last year for BIT 300. But, being my "first ever blog" sounds so much cooler and impressive, so let's go with it.

Anyway, that would make this my first-ever blog post. I guess that means I should introduce myself. My name is Bryan Blum, and I am a senior in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Why did I decide to take BIT 330: Web-Based Information Retrieval? Well, put it this way. When I read the title of the course for the first time, I'm pretty sure I laughed and then thought to myself, "Web-Based Information Retrieval? Sooo…basically Googling stuff? I'm the master of Google. I'm taking the class." It's true though, it's the perfect class for me. This statement was validated when I would tell people that I was taking the class. When I tell my friends that I am taking "Web-Based Information Retrieval", they all respond with "Wow, Bryan, that class is just perfect for you."

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You see, I consider myself someone who loves searching for and finding information. In fact, I could totally relate to Professor Moore on the first day of class when he told us that he always watches TV with his laptop. That's me. I must average about 10 Google searches per hour. If I hear something I don't know, I NEED to learn all about it. I guess it's a good thing.

My Motivation - "The Challenge"!

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I'll relay a fun and related story: One day, I was hanging with some friends, when we started to argue about a random topic - how much it costs to get a passport. Weird, I know. Laptop on lap (obviously), I instinctively began a Google search and resolved the argument in under 10 seconds - "It costs 70 bucks," I exclaimed. End of story, right? Wrong. A friend of mine thought he could do better. "I bet I can search faster than you can. I'm such a better Google-r." A challenger! Can you believe it? A web-based information retrieval rivalry amongst friends? I'll refer to this friend from this point forward as "The Challenger".

Being the competitive person that I am, we immediately began our first-ever "Search Challenge" - a third friend came up with a question, and we raced to find the answer. Well, you guessed it. I lost the challenge. He edged me by a fraction of a second. I still haven't heard the end of it. So why am I taking this class? I NEED to be the best searcher amongst my friends. I NEED to learn new tips and tricks in order to prove my information-retrieval supremacy. Every time I learn a new searching trick, I'm going to rub it in The Challenger's face.

Using What I've Learned:

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Determined to show-up The Challenger, I paid close attention to the "Search Techniques & Strategies" class. The "special search syntax" techniques caught my eye. Would using these put me over the top as the ultimate searcher?

Well, the other night, a few friends and I were watching The Sopranos and we started talking about the show's producer, David Chase. "Which other shows has he produced?" one of my friends inquired. "This is my chance!" I thought in my head, already formulating a great search using tips I learned earlier that day in class.

I turned to The Challenger. "Re-match," I exclaimed. "You're on," he responded, "first one to name another show he has produced wins."

Yep, you guessed it. I won. Demolished him. When I screamed "THE ROCKFORD FILES!", he was still flipping through pages on imdb.com! You see, my answer was actually ON the results page, in the 4th result. He needed to navigate through imdb and scroll down to get his answer.

My search was: "david chase" "producer of *" -sopranos

His search was: imdb david chase

Thanks, BIT330. You've already helped me gain bragging rights.

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