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The Pew Internet and American Life project has released another interesting report – Search engine users [pdf]. It carries the following line on its title page: ‘Internet users are confident, satisfying and trusting – but they are also unaware and naive’.
Today’s Internet users are very positive about what search engines already do, and they feel good about their experiences when searching the Internet. They say they are comfortable and confident as searchers and are satisfied with the results they find….
… One unexpected implication of our study is that search engines are attaining the status of other institutions – legal, medical, educational, governmental, journalistic – whose performance the public judges by unusually high standards, because the public is unusually reliant on them for principled performance.
Further support for the view that an eat your spinach approach to library marketing may not be the best way to go.