Monday, 13 January 2014

Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure

Ok, so this is the second book I am reading for the Eclectic Reading Challenge 2014. One of the categories is a 'Travel (Non Fiction)' book. For several years I have had this book sat on the shelf and, to be honest, I think it would have sat there for years to come if it wasn't for this challenge. I bought it after watching Dave Gorman being interviewed on Morning TV when the book was published...around the beginning of 2004, so nearly ten years.

The book is based on Dave Gorman agreeing to a somewhat bizarre challenge of meeting 'Googlewhacks'. For those not in the know a Googlewhack is:

You enter 2 unrelated words into Google (which then finds every page on the www that contains those 2 words) and only one result is returned. The words must both be in and you must not enter them with speech marks around them both as this is cheating. 

Dave is informed by a stranger that he is a Googlewhack. He then asks what this is and, once he learns he then proceeds to find some of his own. A long story short...he ends up contacting one of the ones he finds, who then finds one that leads to somebody he already knows, he visits them and they set the challenge. He travels far and wide to meet more. (There is a bit more to it but that's the concept.)

Now, in a lot of ways I am glad that I read this ten years later. This book is not only a travel book now but is also well on it's way to being a history book. You see this was written in 2003. Personally, I was at college and then university then. I had the internet at home but it was dial up connection. We had the internet at college but it wasn't used anywhere near as much as is now for education. The internet was FAR smaller then than now too. It is virtually impossible to find a 'Googlewhack'...try it! I did, and virtually every combination of words I typed in brought back thousands of results upon results.

At one point in the book Dave explains (in a way that implies it would be normal not to know about this already) the concepts of Ebay and Wifi connections. He also includes a conversation where someone he met claims that due to their modem at work not working that afternoon, they were far less distracted and got loads of work done. If ever the internet isn't working when I'm at work I struggle to be able to do my job now! How the world changes.

As far as being a Travel book goes, well, the guy only spends enough time in each place to meet his Googlewhack and then has to move onto the next location as quickly as possible so I wouldn't recommend it if you want to learn much about the places he goes to. It is a comical and light hearted read though and I really liked it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow ten years is a long time on the shelf! I'm glad the challenge motivated you to read it and you enjoyed it!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out