Yesterday was the last day of the Internet Librarian conference. It was a great trip. I met librarians from many states, Canada and even England.
The morning keynote speaker was Danny Sullivan who began searchenginewatch.com but has now started searchengineland.com. His talk concentrated on the future of search and what we can expect. He showed how many predictions from 2001 have come true – more personalized searching, social sites and federated searching. He also mentioned how we have moved from an environment of browsing and discovery to search – and very specific searching at that.
Whereas federated searching focused on horizontal searching, the personalized sites focus more on vertical searching. The Google Universal Search will personalize searches through their personalized searching link and re-order sites based on bookmarks, search history, and your home page.
Mary Ellen Bates presented a program on Alternative and Customized Search Engines. She went through many sites – very quickly I might add. I didn’t get all the details down, but will share some of the sites you might want to check out. Intelways, SRCHR, Scandoo (this one really looked interesting as it gives sites ratings based on malware, phishing and offensive content in real time).
Do you ever need to find a particular sound and do not know where to look? Try Findsounds for a variety of noises you can use.
As far as customized search engines, try the Yahoo Search Builder at builder.search.yahoo.com, or Google coop at www.google.com/coop/cse. I have not had time to try these myself but many in the audience had and recommended both sites.
Greg Notiss discussed Search Engine Strategies: Digging Deeper. Many of the sites he shared seemed to be more useful for deep research and academic environments. The three I noted were: www.nap.edu for the National Academies Press which had many free full text books and journals; the Wayback Machine which searches archives and caches of sites from 1996 – 8/12 months ago; and www.zuula.com.
He also suggested that you look at the border areas of webpages to find richer content. In addition, look for tabs and other links to uncluster the results which will provide more varied sites. On Google, this link is listed after the last search result.
I had to fly out before the conference ended so I missed the closing keynote. I have much information to process and practice with anyway so it is probably just as well. Knowledge fatigue may be setting in!
If you get the chance next year, attend this great conference!