Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chugging through Search Engines

When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.

Ursula K. Le Guin

Well, this has certainly been an exhausting exercise, and I feel my learnings about Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ezalead et al are only just beginning. Having said that, I don't feel inclined to poke too much more deeply as I feel almost on the brink of overload. It is certainly helpful to know about all these options, but as you're trying to take in everything, it ends up just too overwhelming that you feel like shouting "Stop the train - I want to get off". It's taken me some time to get over my aversion to the apparent omnipotent power of Google, but looking at some of these other options has given me a new appreciation for this power, and thinking Google does actually do a very good job handling the incredible abundance of "information" out there. I haven't used the Wonder Wheel or Timeline features before, but I can see the potential for using these when you need more depth or clarity on issues, and will look forward to being able to put them to good use in the future. The Advanced Search in Yahoo is nice in the way you can filter sites by domain name e.g. by .com, .edu, .gov, etc, although I imagine you can also do this with others. That's something I'll try to remember to check out. There is much more of a commercial slant to Bing, and I liked the look of the Exalead page - it displayed nicely, and the thumbnails were quite useful. The filters for site type - blogs, forums - were also helpful if you were looking for those in particular. On the whole, all the sites were relatively easy to navigate around and the options nicely set out, and are well worth knowing about. We all get comfortable with our own preferences, but the more we experiment with the alternatives, the more we'll be able to appreciate the differences.Just another step along the trail in our ever-expanding quest for information...

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