Seek Engines: What If 'Seek' Had Bumped Out 'Search'?
by Kevin Kantola
In the early days of the World Wide Web, when things were just getting started many geek speak terms were jockeying for position to be the standards for years to come. I used to drive by a California-based company every day that had named itself YKK and think, "What a pity."
Then I think what if the World Wide Web had lost out to the World Wide Subway System (WWSS) or some other less noble term? Then I take it one step further and think, "What if the term search had lost out to seek"?
Let's think about this for a moment. Seek is a good word with a nearly identical meaning to search. In fact, in the Oxford American Dictionary (with the torn off cover and publishing info) it states that seek means "…to make a search or inquiry for, to try to find or obtain or do."
In Seek Of
What would be the repercussions of using seek speak instead of search? First there would be the seek engines and the seek engine optimizers who would try to get top rankings on these engines. Then you would have specialized seeking going on like local seek, personalized seek and contextual seek.
There may be terms bandied about like seek engine specific algorithms, seek options, seek tips, seek tools and seek toolbars. If you're looking for someone online, this would be people seek. If there is something that you cannot find, you would be seeking high and low. Out in the real world you may conduct a talent seek for the next teen idol.
Heck if you happened to be out and lost in the woods at night, the seek party would come looking for you using their seek lights. If by some chance, you had done something morally reprehensible to a bear or a small woodland creature while you were in the woods, you may wish to do a little soul seeking. If you have a pattern of committing these reprehensible acts and keeping pictures on your home PC, then the police may obtain a seek warrant to bring you to justice.
Search and Ye Shall Find
What if there had also been a backlash to all of this seeking? In the struggle to become the number one term for the same activity, this could happen. The instant messenger service ICQ could have chosen to go another direction and today we would have cumbersome ISEARCH4U. Some of the search engine themselves may now have different names such as WhatUSearch.com, OneSearch.com and ExactSearch.com.
Out in the real world, your kids could be playing Hide & Search. And, if the police were closing in on you for the aforementioned reprehensible acts, you may be searching asylum in another country.
Fun of Finding
The goal of seeking or searching is to find. If you find what you need, you've had a successful experience. But, what if from the early experiences on the Internet, neither search nor seek were chosen in order to find? We could talk about the Look or Find Engines now, but that's a whole new subject altogether, my friend. Let's just leave this one alone.
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