Google, I use it for almost everything. It was interesting when changes came and the search engine began guessing what you were looking for beginning a few years ago now, I believe.
Anything from “I hate it when chinchillas eat the universe” to a simple word. If you begin writing a sentence Google starts to guess what you are looking for, but interestingly it does it just with letters as well. Typing in each letter of the alphabet gives you the most searched for word. Though this is neat, the more interesting part of this is when you begin looking to other Google websites based on the country you’re from.
For example there is: www.google.co.uk, www.google.ca, www.google.com.au. The first is the United Kingdom server, second being Canada’s, while the third is Australia. Across the world there are many more Google websites associated with various countries. Strangely the American site doesn’t exist in Canada, if you type in www.google.com it redirects you. Google in fact has over 175 different domains worldwide, as BBC News states.
The reason for bringing this up is that it can shed light on different societies around the world and what they like or do as opposed to another. By typing in the letter “w” the British site comes up with weather, the Australian site guesses white pages, while the Canadian site brings up weather network, and the American site assumes you are looking for information on Walmart.
In the same instance “t” comes up with Tesco in Britain (a chain of supermarkets), Target in United States, Telstra (a phone company) in Australia, and TSN in Canada.
It’s interesting in depicting the different interests between countries. “A” in Austrialia guesses AFL, which is the Australian Football League, while typing in “C” in Canada assuming that CFL will appear is incorrect. The top four guesses are Canadian Tire, Costco, CBC, and Canada Post.
I found it interesting how they were, however, similar. “G” brought up searches for Google or Gmail, while “H” unanimously guesses Hotmail.
Autocomplete in each instance shows how people around the world in a variety of different countries use the internet, as well as what their interests are. For instance, www.google.co.in, or Google India brings up the word Cricinfo. This is a sports channel dedicated to cricket. This shows cricket’s popularity in India, while we as Canadian’s are more interested in Canadian Tire. Though we are big fans of TSN, this isn’t usually to check the scores of the cricket match; but, it is to check scores of the CFL, NHL, and even the NBA.
I find different cultures interesting and for the most part a common culture is somehow created within a country. There may be differing opinions on religion or language, but it seems the values in the country become similar. It’s the world the country establishes in itself promoting certain ideals. Canada is multicultural and believes in equal opportunities, so the Canadian culture is made up of a great deal of variation. Yet, there are certain Canadian-isms only we may know.
Searching Google for “Z” prompts Zellers. Canadians know what Zellers is, while only those who might visit Canada from elsewhere would possibly know. Outside of Google this holds true as well. In Canada when we say that we are going to Coles, we are going to a bookstore also known as Chapters or Indigo. Coles is a bookstore here though in Australia if you go to Coles you may find a few books and magazines to buy, but there will be a huge selection of food items as it is actually a grocery store there.
This can be broken down further into different words used in different areas of the world: a toque versus a beanie, counter versus a bench, or supper versus tea. One culture may say 11:30, while others call it half 11. This gets even more complicated as do people mean it is 10:30, half an hour to 11, or 11:30 half an hour past 11? In Britain they use half 11 as being half past, while in Denmark it would be 10:30. I typically over think things and being told to meet someone at half 11 in Australia I was completely unaware of what time they actually meant, while they simply looked at me like I was crazy and stated that they meant half past 11 like there was no other way it could be stated. They also gave me a look that said my wondering if it was half to or half past 11 was just plain silly.
These are simply cultural differences on the level of a country. Despite the differences among the many cultures that can be found in a country, a national culture does develop. Though two people may be completely different: religious beliefs, political views, languages, etc..., there is a commonality developed as a culture of country.