Joel Sutherland

Update on Tech Trials


Two weeks ago I started trying a few things. This post is a quick explanation on how they went.

1. Switch from Google to Duck Duck Go for search

I give this a mixed review.  The results seem to be just as good as Google, or better. This is probably biased by my tendency to search for technical things which is DDG's strongest ability.

My first reaction was fairly negative towards it's UI.  The links and URLS on the results page have less contrast so I had a harder time scanning them. Now that I am used to the interface, it is less of an issue. Here are some other annoyances and things I miss from Google:

  1. Lack of AutoComplete - There is no autocomplete when searching via chrome's URL bar or on the site itself.  I miss this.  To be clear, I don't miss Google Instant search. I'll be 90% of my searching is through the URL bar.
  2. Missing Some Verticals - I'm in the habit of quickly searching google for terms that will bring up Google News results.  I find this really helpful for getting up to speed on developing stories. DDG just doesn't have this. 

I've also tweaked my settings list a little bit.  I've turned on 0-click search and changed the width from 'Wide' to normal.

I'm sticking with DDG dispite the small annoyances.  I can always toss !g in front of a query to get Google results.  It seems that in general DDG doesn't return results as quickly as Google, but I am able to find what I am looking for a little bit more quickly.

2. Trying to use Reddit via SubReddits

My experience using Reddit by subscribing to subreddits has mostly been positive.  Essentially, I unsubscribed from almost all of the major subreddits and instead subscribed to some focused ones like history, web_design, physics and javascript.  The biggest problem I've had is the weighting of various subreddits in my master feed.  It seems like the bigger ones are overrepresented.

The result of this is probably going to be that I try it a bit longer after tweaking what I am subscribed to further.

I don't know that  would recommend it to most people. If you do try it, it's worth unsubscribing from anything news-related. That seems to be the noisiest.

3. Sharing more on Twitter

I did a poor job of this -- but work has been really busy and I haven't done as much reading as usual.  We'll see how this goes moving forward.