The self-Googling phenomenon: Investigating the performance of personalized information resources

  • Thomas Nicolai
  • Lars Kirchhof
  • Axel Bruns Queensland University of Technology
  • Jason Wilson Queensland University of Technology
  • Barry Saunders Centre for Policy Development

Abstract

This paper investigates self-Googling through the monitoring of search engine activities of users and adds to the few quantitative studies on this topic already in existence. We explore this phenomenon by answering the following questions: To what extent is the self-Googling visible in the usage of search engines; is any significant difference measurable between queries related to self-Googling and generic search queries; to what extent do self-Googling search requests match the selected personalised Web pages? To address these questions we explore the theory of narcissism in order to help define self-Googling and present the results from a 14-month online experiment using Google search engine usage data.

Author Biographies

Thomas Nicolai
Thomas Nicolai was Researcher at the University of St. Gallen while conducting this analysis of the Self-Googling Phenomenon. In relation to Internet studies, he has recently worked with Lars Kirchhoff and Axel Bruns on monitoring the Australian political blogosphere. Building on the work presented in this paper he recently founded the sociomantic labs based in Berlin.
Lars Kirchhof
Lars Kirchhoff was Researcher at the University of St. Gallen while conducting this analysis of the Self-Googling Phenomenon. Among his research interest are new media, social networks and their impact on information retrieval. Building on the work presented in this paper he recently founded the sociomantic labs based in Berlin together with Thomas Nicolai.
Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology
Axel Bruns is a Senior Lecturer in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi).
Barry Saunders, Centre for Policy Development
Barry Saunders is an e-democracy researcher with the Centre for Policy Development (http://cpd.org.au) and social media producer.
Published
2009-12-07
How to Cite
Nicolai, T., Kirchhof, L., Bruns, A., Wilson, J., & Saunders, B. (2009). The self-Googling phenomenon: Investigating the performance of personalized information resources. First Monday, 14(12). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v14i12.2683