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06 March 2013 @ 09:27 am
LMGTFY is harmful.  

Before you say "LMGTFY" in response to a public query, here are four things you should consider:

Search engines tend to return results similar to things you've clicked on in the past, so if your previous searches have been fruitless, your future searches become more likely to be fruitless as well, as the search engine favors resources it's seen you visit.

The asker may have made a public query because they prefer recommendations from people who might have had some experience with the problem. It's better than trying fifteen solutions of varying degrees of functionality and bitrot. The Internet rarely forgets anything--including answers and solutions which aren't even remotely helpful!

When searching with query string Q, it's not unusual to encounter forum postings where someone says "let me google that for you", followed by a link to a Google search using string Q...which is how you found that post in the first place! (This is the single largest reason I use DuckDuckGo first, and Google only if DuckDuckGo doesn't turn up anything useful!)

LMGTFY is a snide and rude response.

Engineer-Poetengineerpoet on March 6th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC)
This is also an indictment of "personalized" search results.

I miss Scroogle.
navilornavilor on March 6th, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC)
Have you tried DuckDuckGo before?
Engineer-Poetengineerpoet on March 7th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)
It's my default search engine.  I still miss Scroogle.  I wish someone would re-write it as a plug-in that uses Tor routing to get around Google's blocking and makes DDOS impossible (it is beyond me even if I had the Scroogle code).
navilornavilor on March 7th, 2013 01:01 pm (UTC)
I don't have those skills. :(

I'll assume that you are also familiar with Dogpile. They probably do tracking but they were the first meta search engine that I ever used.
eno2001eno2001 on March 6th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
1000 times yes! Nearly every time I've seen someone use that or it's been directed at me I've already tried a Google search with useless results. In my case it tends to be that I've bumped up against a problem so difficult that no one seems to know the answer.

I then spend another few hours trying every possible related search I can think of and in in some cases find an answer in something so different from my problem that you could almost call it unrelated.

What I usually do then, is go back to the forum and post what I found with a snide indictment of the useless and hostile nature of LMGTFY. Partially to troll the unhelpful comment poster, but also to share what I've found for others. That's what you're SUPPOSED to do: share your knowledge.
whitemicewhitemice on March 6th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
LMGTFY is lazy and "smart ass", it servers no purpose but to grunge up list archives - which are themseleves, hopefully, valuable information repositories; at least once was has filter out all the link-less RTFM replies and now the LMGTFY replies.

Of course "searching" is really a crappy approach, I try to disuade people from it at every opportunity. Typically just going to the document is much better, or the appropriate forum. Searching mostly results in time-wasting bunny trails.

If you don't know what you are doing [regarding some topic] you won't be able to pick through search results efficiently. If you do know what you are doing then, SERIOUSLY, you know a better way or place to find information.
Michael Molmmol_6453 on March 6th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Ditto
If you don't know what you are doing [regarding some topic] you won't be able to pick through search results efficiently.

No kidding. As I described to Dagny, I can either spend $250 of a client's money (or mine, if I don't charge for the research portion of troubleshooting!), or I can spend ten minutes asking an IRC channel full of bored techies.
(Anonymous) on April 9th, 2013 04:37 am (UTC)
Re: Ditto
or I can spend ten minutes asking an IRC channel full of bored techies.
HEY NOW! I'm not bored! Just overly anxious to do something other than PCI compliance crap!
Timothy Wessonmorosopher on March 6th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
Snide and Rude?
(Deleted comment)
fireflythegreatfireflythegreat on March 7th, 2013 03:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this is exactly what I find whenever I try and search for anything even vaguely technical.
brettsubgeek on March 7th, 2013 03:15 am (UTC)
Many on the Internet would rather be funny than helpful.
thargolthargol on March 7th, 2013 09:53 am (UTC)
LMGTFY is a snide and rude response

But sometime justified...