(Culture) Serendipity is my main mode

Formalising the Concept of Serendipity in Web Searching by Olivier Ertzscheid, Information Science - University of Social Sciences Toulouse.

In the context of traditional models of information retrieval, this presentation analyses a new emergent paradigm in web searching : serendipity, placing it among related technologies (such as clustering, profiling and mapping) that comprise the major trends in information retrieval on the web. The presentation focuses on (1) mapping the results of web search and (2) building dynamic clusters based upon the results of web searches. The reasons for this increasing role of serendipity in web searching are discussed and linked to a) the exponential growth of information available upon the network; b) the complexity of expert searching via search engines for non-expert users (boolean queries, scope of different extensions and limitations); and c) the economic model of these search engines. Serendipity is nowadays an intuitive way to "find without searching". It raises important questions in an "information society", such as the monopolistic situation of major search engines such as Google, and the "objectivity" of search results, as well as the behaviour of non-professionnal information seekers.

Definition of serendipty by Wikipedia.

Serendipity is finding something unexpected and useful while searching for something else entirely. For instance, the discovery of the antibacterial properties of penicillin by Alexander Fleming is said to have been serendipitious, because he was merely cleaning up his laboratory when he discovered that the Penicillium mould had contaminated one of his old experiments.