I was thrilled when I got invited to speak at Chris Pirillo’sGnomedex event happening in Seattle this August 21-23. Gnomedex is legendary to me, and to present at it — well, wow! Plus some nervousness, which I hope this post will help with. I’m looking for some thoughts on my topic of "Search Life Meets Real Life." Want to help? Then read on — and comment!

While most of my writing is about search marketing, I’ve been most fascinated with how search collides with real life or society. One survey from a few years ago always has stuck with me, how people turned to search for advice over things they’d used for years — decades – centuries — like friends, family and libraries. Search engines are our confessionals, our confidants, our trusted friends that help us.

But sometimes our friends can be scary — like when it’s YOUR house that’s showing up in Google StreetView, or that feed you thought was private ends up appearing in a listing, or those photos — well, what happens on Flickr doesn’t necessarily stay on Flickr.

It can also seem absurd when people want things removed. Really, you want Google to start blocking houses that anyone walking down a street can see and take photos of? If so, will StreetView eventually look like one of those redacted CIA reports? But then again so what if something’s public? That doesn’t mean people want material to be so easily out there — or that they shouldn’t have some voluntary controls to remove it.

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