View Full Version : to google or not to google?

30-03-2006, 07:50 PM
say you think of a term/title/idea/thing which might form the basis of a new piece of writing.

do you: a) think it through on your own, using your existing resources/influences, and create something which can then be added to everything else that happens to be out there (meaning web ramblings etc. as well as more 'established' literature)?

or b) enter the word/phrase/thing into a search engine to find out whether/how anyone else has used it, so you are:

i) influenced by their ideas before you've developed your own;

ii) dissuaded from developing your own thing altogether as other texts have already 'claimed' the phrase for their purposes, and have said what you were thinking but much better/made it mean something totally different etc.,

and/or iii) motivated to add to or challenge the existing writing and incorporate this into the work as it gets written?

does a writer (especially of 'non-fiction' or pop cultural topics) have a 'duty' to 'google' any potential key term under the remit of 'research' just in case anything comes up? or is there a case for deliberately not 'googling', or at least delaying it, in order to formulate one's own thoughts before being influenced by others, or even for ignoring the Googlized sphere altogether? or is this shamefully elitist?

(obviously this does not account for all the material that circulates unconsciously, making us think of certain things, pick up phrases and forget where we got them from etc. and i am not making a claim for 'originality' in texts, just thinking about the influence of the internet on writing.)