April 18, 2010
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Internet Failure

David Weinberger complains that, in the travel crisis of the Icelandic Volcano, the Internet failed him. (He says the Internet failed, but I think the reality is that his airline’s Web site wasn’t quite as terrific as it might have been.)

I’d also like to point out that Google is now useless for information about cooking, because almost all Google search results now point to vacuous sites that offer mundane, simplified recipes – often the same recipe endlessly repackaged. Bing is no better. It’s cooks.com and the Food Network ’til the cows come home.

My recent strategy has been to fool Google by combining the information I want with the name of a serious cook – Ruhlman or Keller or Bourdain – and then to look for results that are not written by that cook. This often gets you results from food blogs and other serious writers, not retreads from 1990’s supermarket magazines.