Friday, June 17, 2005

Terminology: Finding a Yoga Whatchamacallit

Yoga is my latest passion, and like all fitness pursuits, requires certain paraphanalia. The rolled up mat is too long to fit into my usual collection of totes and bags, so I went to the web search engines in search of something to store and carry all my yoga equipment. My first try was "yoga bag" which brought up sleek carrying cases for the mat, but no place for my block and straps, let alone a hooded sweat jacket. I also tried "yoga mat carriers" and "mat tote" which brought up straps for my mat, as well enlarged purses with a strap on the side to accommodate the mat, much like an umbrella. I finally tried "mat bag", and finally found what I wanted under "yoga duffel bag", basically a rugged bag large enough to accommodate all my yoga equipment, plus a pocket for keys and my cell phone. I came close to buying the "Sweaty Stuff Yoga Bag", but finally ended up buying offline so I could actually feel the fabric, and see if my cell phone fit the pocket, rather typical consumer concerns.

My experience illustrates the conundrum of finding products or information on the web. The words that I entered as search terms meant something to me, but they didn't match the results that I found. Classifications and taxonomies have become much more important on the Web, but their limitations are the same linguistic issues that I found, which are quite separate from the search engine technology itself. We truly use a variety of dialects, and that is the challenge of adapting to the web world!
Post a Comment