Google Sets - Set, Point, Match?

By bryblumbryblum (1222121979|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

How Useful is Google Sets?

So, as a second part of the "Search Techniques and Strategies" portion of BIT 330, we took searching techniques to another level. Could I learn a technique today that could prove as helpful as last time?


Well, for starters, I learned about the existence of "Google Sets". I love learning about new Google products - I always feel like they are on the cutting edge. So, let's see. According to the webpage, Google Sets "automatically creates sets of items from a few examples." Alright, seems simple enough. For my first test, I typed in "Knicks", "Mets", and "Rangers". Obviously, I was going for the whole New York sports teams category. (Alright, alright. I know, I am from New Jersey, but I'm a New York sports fan at heart. C'mon…the Nets and the Devils? I can't do it). I then pushed "small set," and lo and behold, I was immediately given a list of all New York sports teams - Yankees, Giants, Jets, etc. Pretty cool. Nice work, Google.


It works, end of story. But is it? BIT 330's intention (I know, I just personified the course, weird) is to provide us with tools that are useful in finding information. Sure, Google Sets "works" most of the time and is quite fascinating, but in which instances can it be helpful? For the rest of the class period that day, I thought and thought about a situation in which Google sets could be helpful in my coursework, and I couldn't figure one out.

I'll be honest - I left class that day a little disappointed with Google Sets. It is such a great tool, but when would I be able to use it? Well, that night I was at dinner with a few friends, when the conversation shifted to (of all things!)…Jim Carrey. We were discussing how much we loved "Dumb and Dumber", "The Mask", and "Ace Ventura" when we were younger, and how much we disliked Jim Carrey's later movies, like the one that came out a few years ago where he plays God. "What the hell is the name of that movie?" everyone wondered. All of a sudden, it hit me. This is the moment. "Google Sets, work with me here, let's do it," I awkwardly encouraged the website in my head. I whipped out my Blackberry, and threw "Dumb and Dumber", "The Mask", and "Ace Ventura" in the item boxes. What do you know? "Bruce Almighty" was the 6th result. I beat my friends to the punch.

Useful for research projects? Yet to be determined. Good for remembering the name of a movie? It looks like Google Sets does the trick.

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