Internet reaches a milestone
The early days of the Internet were baffling for many of us older Baby Boomers, at least until we learned about search engines.
Weaned on Yahoo and other early search engines, we heard about a new, simple site that brought back good results, a search engine with the odd name, Google.
A lot of people enjoyed the site as well, and by 1996, they could find 26 million Web sites on Google.
Today, "Google" is a verb, and the search engine just began tracking its one trillionth unique URL.
That's a million, million Web sites, or more than 142 sites for every person on the planet, and it's growing by several billion a day, according to the Google people.
They say there are really a lot more sites than that, but the search engine only keeps track of sites that are truly unique.
To keep up with all these sites, Google is continuously collecting data and re-processing the entire Web-link several times per day. That's the equivalent of "fully exploring every intersection of every road in the United States," according to Google's Web blog. "Except it'd be a map about 50,000 times as big as the U.S. with 50,000 times as many roads and intersections."
It's search engines like Google that make it possible for old boomers -- and today's online wired generation -- to make sense of those trillion places to explore.
Out of all those sites, however, only a handful have McCook, Nebraska, as their primary subject. Founder Harry Strunk, always an innovator in his own right, would be proud that the Gazette is the leader among those sites, and is offering more and more online content.
A complete online version of the print McCook Daily Gazette product has been available for some time, and will continue to be free to print subscribers after Aug. 11.
The Web site will continue to be free for all readers, and includes material Harry Strunk could only dream of, from local and worldwide video, to photo essays accompanied by audio and numerous ways to interact with the paper and other readers.
Especially popular are links to buy images taken by Gazette photographers, which can be purchased as posters, on T-shirts, cups and other products.
If you haven't visited http://mccookgazette.com recently, check it out again.