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It was the 6th hit on Google - no wonder you didn't find it

I passed on some MP3s from my own music collection to my oldest son yesterday. With the release of Metallica's first decent album in several years, it was time to show him just what 32nd notes were good for.
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor on

I passed on some MP3s from my own music collection to my oldest son yesterday. With the release of Metallica's first decent album in several years, it was time to show him just what 32nd notes were good for. Of course, I'm an iTunes guy and he's a Zune guy, so he wasn't sure how to just add MP3s that he didn't rip from a CD or download from the Zune Marketplace (yes, he's something of a legal eagle; he thought people actually used torrents for downloading Ubuntu disk images).

Anyway, I wasn't sure how to do it either, so, not surprisingly, I told him to Google it. "I can't find it, Dad," he said after about 30 seconds. Throwing him the evil eye usually reserved for unmotivated, lackadaisical students, I Googled "How to add mp3s to my zune" myself and found the answer in the 6th entry. Has my kid joined the if-it's-not-in-the-first-three-hits-of-Google-it-doesn't-exist mindset occupied by so many of our students? I was horrified.

Turns out, you simply drag the files from an explorer window into the Zune software...piece of cake. What bothered me was that lack of awareness of the scroll bar in his web browser. This is a kid whose easiest class this semester is Advanced Placement Statistics; he's hardly a slouch. It's no wonder that so many students come to us and complain about research projects, announcing that they "just can't find anything!"

My librarian would tell me that the answer is to point kids to online databases, create webquests, and generally discourage the Google mentality. However, it's a rare time when I don't find precisely what I need to know with a couple minutes of Googling. Google is the best thing since sliced bread if you look past the first three paid advertisements.

Maybe if Metallica rewrote "Master of Puppets" as "Master of Search Engines," kids might learn how use all of the resources available at the speed of broadband more effectively.

Master of search engines, I'm indexing sites Serving up ads and crawling the web Use only me, I dominate search Just type a string, `cause I'll find your site Google Google Just type a string, `cause I'll find your site Google Google

I guess there's a reason I'm a techie and not up on stage banging my head with the guys. Oh well. I bet I'm a better Googler than James Hetfield.

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