Monthly Archives: September 2014

Going into this experiment, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. After what was discussed in last Wednesday’s class, there seems to be a lot of shady, ‘behind-the-scenes’ web activity happening users are not aware of.


After browsing the web for 20 minutes with the add-on Lightbeam running, I was surprised to see I have connected to 62 third party websites even though I only visited 13 websites.

chart 2chart 3

I didn’t expect surfing popular social media networks like Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube would have connected me to so many external websites, some of which I have never heard of. I assume some of these are ad networks or data brokers, collecting and tracking my info on the web. This just shows the different degrees of interoperability and how some websites prioritizes consumer privacy and security more so others.



I was pleased to see there were some websites I visited did not connect to third-party websites. Like the bank ATM example in Chapter 4 of Interop, (Bank of Montreal website) did not connect me to any third party websites. With something so serious and personal, it was a relief to see that their web services are highly interoperable and highly secure.

On one hand, I feel like my privacy was infiltrated and my information was shared without my consent. But on the other hand, I know that I am on the web and everything is elusively connected. Growing up in the digital era where web 2.0 emerged, there’s always a common understanding in the back of my head that once you connect to the internet, things you do are monitored by higher power and privacy does not really exist. Like discussed in class, we essentially sign our privacy away in the terms and conditions when we join a social media network.

62 third party websites were connected in 20 minutes. I’m curious how many more if I left the addon running for a whole day, a week and a month?

1. How would you search for an exact word or phrase?

Put quotation marks around an exact word or phrase to search the web for the exact phrase in the exact order. For example:

Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0007_exact phrase

Note that certain relevant results may be excluded. For example, searching “ryerson university hours” will exclude “ryerson university library hours“.


2.   How would you search for something on a specific site?

Search a word or phrase with the syntax “site: [URL]” to get results from specific sites. For example:

Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0006_specific site

You can also search through specific domains by using “”


3.   How would you correctly search for a definition?

Google the word you want the definition for with “define:” before. For example:


4.   How would you search for a specific product available within a specific price range?

Google the specific product with the price range separated by two periods without spaces (..). For example:

Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0004_products price range

Or you can use the Google Shopping tab to shop for products and compare prices.

5.   How would you search for a specific filetype?

You can search for specific types of files by adding the syntax “filetype:[FILE TYPE]” with the 3-letter file abbreviation of the file type. For example:

 Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0005_filetype


6.  How would you include or ignore words in your search?

Include words in your search by adding quotations to specific words. You can also use the minus sign () to specific words to further narrow down the results. For example:

Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0003_excluding a word



7.  How would you find related pages?

Find websites with similar content by using the syntax “related:[URL]”. For example:

 Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0002_related sites

8   How would you find pages containing one of several words you are interested in, though not all of them?

Use OR in capitals to find pages that contain one or several words you are interested in searching in, though not all of them. For example:


9   How would you find the time in another country?

To see what time it is anywhere in the world, search time and the city or country.

Search “time japan”

Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0001_time


10.   How would you find out how many Egyptian pounds you get for $20 Canadian dollars?

Get current exchange rates by searching “[currency 1] in [currency 2]“. For example:

Screenshot 2014-07-03 13_0000_currency

The introduction to social media platforms has revolutionized the way we communicate and exist within the online world. Although is no universal social media practice guideline, how you present yourself online should be a reflection of how you want to be perceived in real life. Just because it exists within the virtual realm, it doesn’t mean digital etiquette should be taken lackadaisically. The connotation that there’s no repercussions with what you do online cannot be more untrue. This is especially true for those using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media platforms for professional use.

Keep in mind that everything posted onto the internet may stay online permanently. For example, Delaware governor Jack Markell accidentally tweets a racy photograph of a woman while publicizing a public education initiative. Although the photo was deleted, the tweet was screen captured and quickly circulated online. It is important to keep this in mind before finalizing any online postings.

Recent popular recording artist, Iggy Azelea has received controversial criticism for her use of offensive racial and homophobic slurs in her past tweets. “Iggy Azelea racist” is the second suggested search when you type her name in Google and numerous articles online delves into her digital past.

These two examples shows how you behave online may have immediate or eventual repercussions. Employers can easily search up an applicant’s social media to get a better idea of who they are and if they are suitable for a job. It is usually a good idea to leave out strong opinionated posts that may be inappropriate to maintain a professional online image.