Custom search for buying beer online

I buy a lot of fancy beer. Most of the beers I get excited about now are local to other regions in the US. So over the last year I’ve compiled a big list of sites to look through for certain beers. It’s gotten rather tedious to do all that searching.

So I threw together a custom search engine that searches over good beer stores online!

Because of the nature of such stores, this is also a good tool to search for wines, meads, ciders, liqueurs, spirits, glassware, and more.

It’s already helped me find a store in Europe that will ship the beer that introduced me to great beer to the US (Andechs Doppelbock from Munich if you’re curious), though it’s sold out at the moment. You can even find Westvleteren beers on this thing.

I’m pretty happy with it so far. I might make a v2 at some point in the future, but for now I’ll probably just add stores to it for a little while.

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Google services ranked by Google Trends

I’ve worked at Google for several years, and I’m often fascinated by the differences in internal perception of our products and external perception.

As a little experiment, I used Google Trends to rank all Google services that I could think of (starting with the “even more” page). It was somewhat difficult because you can only compare up to 5 at a time and the numbers given are relative to only the current search. I know that search volume is not an accurate estimate of popularity for MANY reasons, but I’ve found that its rough conclusions are usually pretty solid.

And so, if you’ve wondered how various Google services stack up against each other, here is the final battle:

  1. youtube
  2. gmail
  3. orkut
  4. google maps
  5. google earth
  6. google translate
  7. google chrome
  8. picasa
  9. blogger
  10. google images
  11. igoogle
  12. google books
  13. google scholar
  14. google news
  15. google docs
  16. google calendar
  17. google finance
  18. google talk
  19. google toolbar
  20. google reader
  21. google code
  22. google desktop
  23. google sites
  24. google groups
  25. google checkout
  26. google labs
  27. sketchup
  28. google trends
  29. google buzz
  30. google pack
  31. google latitude
  32. google health
  33. google moon
  34. google shopping
  35. google maps mobile
  36. google alerts
  37. google bookmarks
  38. laiba (来吧) (China-specific social network)
  39. google my maps
  40. google notebook [cancelled]
  41. google directory
  42. google answers [cancelled]
  43. google 411
  44. picasa web albums
  45. google blog search
  46. google mars
  47. custom search
  48. knol
  49. google goggles
  50. open social
  51. friend connect
  52. sidewiki
  53. google lively [cancelled]
  54. google moderator
  55. google patent search

Comments on methods:

  • I tried to find the most popular version of a product name that was still specific to it. For example, “Google Product Search” is much better known as “Google Shopping” so I used that, and though “Lively” is probably more searched by itself, it’s not distinct enough, so I used “Google Lively”.
  • Some products do not have their names translated internationally, and thus get a boost in this comparison. For example, Orkut is the same name in Brazil and India (its 2 big traffic sources), while Google Maps has a translated name in most countries around the world. This is probably quite a big boost to the untranslated products – mainly Youtube, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, Blogger, iGoogle.
  • All searches were done around 3 June 2010, only over the last 12 months of searches. I would not be surprised if these ranks change somewhat in the months ahead.
  • Some comparisons were very close and I may have made the wrong call by a spot or two in some places.

If I left off any services that would be interesting, please drop me an email at pbarryatpatrickbarrydotcom.

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Blog or It Didn’t Happen

I know people that do neat things. I know people who know more about certain subjects than anyone else they meet in a given year knows. I know people with intelligent and insightful opinions on topics of all sorts that most people rarely care to spend much time thinking about.

You’re probably all of these things. For my part, I have circumnavigated the world, I can remove collectible beer labels intact better than anyone I’ve met, and I have a lot of opinions about social software after building and analyzing it for 5 years.

People are interesting and I think that everyone should have a goal of using their interestingness to inspire and educate other people across the world. Really, what else is there for us to do around here?

And so I say: “Blog or it didn’t happen.” One can be as amazing as one wants, and the lives of friends and family will be enriched to no end, but the web has made it stupendously clear how much of an impact posting just a little bit of one’s awesomality can make on the entire world. I am certain that a person half as interesting as another will have well more than twice as much impact in their life just by sharing what makes them special on the web. “The most important thing any person can do in this world is get back to their blog.

A recent project of mine has been recording my family’s history: digitizing and uploading boxes of old pictures, typing up the most important stories of my recent ancestors’ lives, making maps and timelines of my parents’ lives, etc. I was largely motivated by an ever increasing amount of memories of my own life lost to the sands of time. But now I’m thrilled with the potential this opens up for my descendants, and imagining the information I record cascading through time has made me even more excited to spread information from my life online. Look out world, I’m now a blogger.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably kind of awesome. If you’re not already sharing that awesomitude with the web, take a minute to consider doing so

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