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Google is not enough [Archive]



Free seminar given at Online Information 2009, Olympia, London. 1st December 2009 ...

Free seminar given at Online Information 2009, Olympia, London. 1st December 2009

Please note: this presentation is over 2 years old and is an archive copy. It may still be of interest to you should you wish to see how we were using and searching electronic media in the past but please remember that some of the information it contains is now out of date.



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  • Web 2.0 and Social Networks 01/12/09 (C) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Bing, the revamped Live.com. Country versions vary widely in search features, presentation of results and censorship. Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Want to compare Google, Yahoo and Bing? Try this search tool. You can try it on web or image search. You are first presented with three anonymised columns and you decide which gives you the best results. Only then are you told which column belongs to which search engine. The position of the columns on the page is changed each time you search so you cannot cheat! Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • iSEEK is a relatively new search engine that clusters results into topics on the left hand side of your results screen. Clustering is not new: Clusty , for example, is just one of many search tools that have been doing this for several years. For my test searches, though, iSEEK comes up with more meaningful topics and clusters. These include places, people, organisations and date and time. The results from test searches on people’s names suggest that iSEEK gives priority to biographies and social media profiles. As well as the default “Web” search there is an “Education” option that appears to give priority to more research oriented pages. For some searches, for example “peak oil”, the topics on the left of the screen included US school grade level. To search you can type in a natural language question or keywords, and use quotation marks around phrases, but that is it. There is no advanced search for searching by filetype for example. This has proved very popular on some of my advanced search workshops. Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Interested live federated search of selected business sources. It is slower than the general search engines because it actually runs your search live on the business sites. You’ll get an initial list to view and then an option to add extra results once it has completed its search on all of the sites. Like iSeek the left hand panel show the results organised into various categories such as topic, authors, publications, date, organisations etc. Click on Advanced Search and open up the All sources list to see what is covered. Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • After months of pre-launch hype Wolfram Alpha is now up and running for us all to try out. It has been labelled by some as a  potential Google killer but it has always called itself a “computational knowledge engine” or fact search engine. “ Wolfram Alpha is backed by Stephen Wolfram , the noted scientist and author behind the Mathematica computational software and the book, A New Kind Of Science. The service bills itself as a “computational knowledge engine,” which is a mouthful. I’d call it a “fact search engine” or perhaps an “ answer search engine ,” a term that’s been used in the past for services designed to provide you with direct answers, rather than point you at pages that in turn may hold those answers.” From Impressive: The Wolfram Alpha “Fact Engine” http://searchengineland.com/wolfram-alpha-fact-engine-18431 If you are interested in the background and aims of WolframAlpha the article in Searchengineland.com goes into more detail. I am not going to go into any more background here, enlightening and informative though it is, because the average punter will not bother and will simply type in a query. This is where the trouble starts. You have to understand that WolframAlpha deals with data and statistics, but only certain types of data. If you are looking for market share data, forget it. My test search on gin vodka sales UK came up with what was to be the all too common: “ Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input.” Half a dozen searches later it found an answer for one of my test queries – world oil production. The answer was correct but horrendously out of date: an estimate for 2004. The same search in Google came up with figures for 2008 and estimates for 2009. It managed to the find the population of the UK but when I asked it for the population of Caversham it decided that I really meant Faversham. Google wins again on this one. Twitter tweets #wolframalpha suggested that it is very good at comparing country data. It provided some very basic data when I looked at UK and France but adding a third (Germany) caused it to totally lose the plot. Some data was labelled with the country but for the rest I was left guessing. As WolframAlpha has a scientific bias I tried it on Planck’s constant, which it got right (but then so does Google in big bold letters at the top of the results list). Spinach vitamin C was another winner, but trying to compare it with mango and broccoli was more of a challenge. If you type in spinach mango broccoli Vitamin C, WolframAlpha only looks for vitamin C in broccoli. You have to type in ’spinach and mango and broccoli vitamin C’. It came up with a table for vitamin C levels for all three but there is only one nutritional facts table and it is not labelled. I then decided to see if could come up with information on the origin of petroleum. Another fail as it tried to look for the origin of  the word petroleum. How about zeolites then? No it asked me if I meant websites. Next stop companies, which WolframAlpha suggests it can handle. It provided limited share price data on Royal Dutch Shell and even managed to compare it with BP and Tullow Oil. The information is rather spartan and you would be far better off going to Yahoo Finance or Google Finance for information on listed companies. WolframAlpha failed totally when I added in Heritage Oil. Was a fourth company too much? I did a separate search on Heritage Oil and it simply did not recognise the company. Now, come on – Heritage Oil is on the London Stock exchange, which is where I thought WoframAlpha was getting its data (or so the labelling implied) but that may not be the case. When you look at the Source Information it says “ This list is intended as a guide to sources of further information. The inclusion of an item on this list does not necessarily mean that its content was used as the basis for any specific WolframAlpha result. For me, this is a major issue. I need to know where the information has come from and a list of  possible sources is not good enough. It is still very early days for WolframAlpha, so it may eventually live up to expectations. It has long way to go and there are major problems to address: 1. The types of query that it can handle are limited and this needs to be made more obvious to the average searcher 2. The way you phrase your search is important. For some of my test searches I had to try four or five variations before it came up with any results. The average searcher will give up after the first attempt and go back to Google. 3. Some of the information is seriously out of date. 4. Sources are not directly linked to the data. It is essential that one knows where the information has come from. I shall go back on a regular basis to see how it is progressing but for the present I am sticking with my existing favourite  sources for serious research. 5. It gets some stuff very wrong. Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • 01/12/09 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Advanced Internet Search Strategies 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • These are not really ‘new’ tools but they do sometimes pick up on new search engines and add them to their lists. Use services such as Zuula or Browsys Finder to remind you of the different types of information that are available and the relevant search tools. Type in your search once and click on the search tools one by one. Excellent for a simple basic search but you cannot use the advanced search features that are available in the individual search engines. Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Google Image search now has a “Show options”. Related searches are now shown at the top of the standard results screen but Show options now includes size of image, type of image (face, photo, clipart, line drawing) and colour. A group who attended one of my advanced search workshops decided that the colour option is a stroke of genius. “Do away with Dewey, taxonomies, and metadata in the library catalogue and have just colour”. Typical library loan request: I can’t remember the author or title but it has a blue cover with gold lettering! There is also a ‘Find similar images’ for each image. Carry out your search, identify the type of image you want and click on Similar Images. It seems to try and identify images that have similar colour composition and blocks of colour that occupy similar areas of the photo. 01/12/09 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Having made Google Image Options (including colour) and Similar Images available as part of their standard image search, Google are now playing around with Image Swirl in Google Labs. According to Google it “builds on new computer vision research to cluster similar images into representative groups in a fun, exploratory interface”. In practice it is a combination of similar images and the Wonderwheel. One of my image test searches is Edvard Munch and Swirl came back with 12 thumbnails of stacked images (12 is the standard number of stacks) Click on a group of stacked  images and another set of images “swirl” into view in the form of the wonderwheel. And you can keep on clicking on groups/stacks of images but still keep the “history” of your selections. I was pleasantly surprised by the clustering or stacking of the images. I thought that by the time I had reached ‘level 3′ of my browsing each stack would be just different versions of the same image or images with similar colour composition. My Edvard Munch level 3 selection, however, came up with a selection of landscapes with different colours. They did, though, seem to have similar ‘patterns’, for examples paths or what could be interpreted as paths as a major component of the image. 01/12/09 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Exalead Labs has an interesting project called Chromatik. This enables you to search a selection of Flickr images by colour and optionally by keyword. You first select one or more colours or hues from a palette which are added to a bar below the palette. You can adjust the proportions of  the colours in the photos by moving the separators between the colours in the bar. Luminosity can be toggled between bright and dark, and saturation between colourful and grey levels. The last option in the list is to search for specific images using keywords (I assume this searches the titles, tags and descriptions associated with the Flickr images). The implication is that once you have selected your colours you can then limit your search to particular objects. In practice, if you search for colour followed by keyword, Chromatik ignores your colour choices and searches only on your keywords. If, for example, you want to search for apples of a particular colour you must first search on apples and then pick your colours. It pays to keep the number of colour choices to two or three, even if you require very specific colours, as this will give you a wider range of images to choose from. When the thumbnails are displayed you can hover over the best match and select “show images with same colors”. Click on an image and it is displayed full size, but in order to see further information about it you have to right click and select properties. This will give you a URL for the original image on Flickr but only for the image itself. It does not take you to the “full” Flickr page for the photo, which means that  you cannot check ownership and copyright. Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Multicolr Search Lab from Idée Inc. uses “10 million of the most “ interesting ” Creative Commons images on Flickr”. As with Chromatik you select colours from a palette. You can select up to ten colours and click on the same colour several times if you wish to increase its prominence in the photo. Unfortunately there is no keyword search. On the plus side, if you find an image you like simply click on the image to go straight to its page on Flickr where you can double check the copyright situation. Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Advanced Internet Search Strategies 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Web 2.0 and Social Networks 01/12/09 (C) Karen Blakeman 2009
  • Internet Search: a challenging and ever changing landscape 1 December 2009 (c) Karen Blakeman 2009

Google is not enough [Archive] Google is not enough [Archive] Presentation Transcript

  • Photo: Olympia exhibition Centre, © Copyright Kenneth Allen and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0 Licence , http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/908621 This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence The ever changing landscape of search: Google is not enough Tuesday, 1 st December 2009, Olympia 11:45 - 12:15 - Theatre C [email_address] , Twitter: karenblakeman http ://www.slideshare.net/karenblakeman
  • Coverage and availability of slides
    • This session:
      • What’s new in the major search tools, some new specialist search tools, image search, videos and podcasts, a bit of web 2.0
      • Very superficial overview!
    • Twitter
      • Twitter for Business, Online Information conference session
      • Twitter 101 presentation Tuesday, 1st December 2009, 16:00-17:30, Track 2
    • Social & professional networks, Web 2.0
      • More detail in Business research: Web 2.0 is not an option but a necessity, Wednesday, 2 nd December 2009, 12:00 - 12:30 - London Room
    • All presentations available on Slideshare
      • http://www.slideshare.net/karenblakeman
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • How do people really search?
    • Publican hiring bar staff uses Facebook to pre-screen candidates
    • Student used YouTube to find information on the life cycle of the Duck Billed Platypus for an essay
    • Business students assignment on advertising history of Cadbury’s Crème Egg and Dairy Milk – Youtube!
    • Newsletter editor looking for images of autumn leaves – specific colours required (Chromatik)
    • Twitter and blogs used as an essential part of reputation monitoring
    • What’s happening at conferences e.g. Online Information 2009 #online09 - Twitter, Slideshare
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk View slide
  • Searches that failed!
    • Original TV coverage of the storming of the Bastille
    • Podcast of Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg address
      • not an actor but THE Abraham Lincoln
    • Photo of the baby Jesus with Joseph and Mary (9 year old asked “Why didn’t the shepherds or the wise men take any photos with their mobiles?”)
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk View slide
  • Google search Blogger profile Twitter profile Facebook profile LinkedIn profile 01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk Major search engines now include social and professional networks in results
  • Google search 01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Yahoo!
    • Now includes options to limit search to selected networking sites
    • Varies depending on type of search
    • (Deal with Bing makes it difficult to predict what will happen in the near future to Yahoo search)
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Bing
    • http://www.bing.com/ (was live.com)
    • “ decision engine”
    • Results vary considerably depending on the country version
    • New interface but no improvement in advanced search screen
    • Results tend to be more consumer oriented
    • My personal experience is that it seems to have the most up to date database
    • Sometimes finds content not in Google or Yahoo (although we were told at a London meeting that they only have 10 billion pages!)
    • Twitter search http://www.bing.com/twitter
      • very disappointing, unreliable, not comprehensive,
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • Blindsearch
    • http://blindsearch.fejus.com/
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • iSEEK
    • http://www.iseek.com/
    • Clusters results into topics, people, places, organisations, date & time
    • Search on a person gives priority to social media profiles
    • “ Education” option – more research oriented pages
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • Biznar
    • http://www.biznar.com/
    • Real time federated search of selected business resources, some of them “hidden web” or “deep web”
    • Click on Advanced Search to see a list of the sources
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • Wolfram Alpha
    • http://www.wolframalpha.com/
    • “ Computational knowledge engine”
    • Statistics, scientific data, share prices, chemical structures
    • Apparently, good for maths homework
    • “ Curated data”
      • gathered from a variety of sources and added to their database
    • Does not give you the source of the answers
    • Sometimes very out of date
    • Sometimes wrong e.g. chemical structures (but can’t tell how the errors have arisen)
    • Despite drawbacks nominated for Top 10 Search Tips by participants in one of my recent workshops
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • Ten science search engines – update
    • Google Scholar is most definitely not enough!
    • spineless? http://hwlibrary.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/ten-science-search-engines-update/#comment-7943
      • Scirus – http://www.scirus.com/
      • Scitopia.org – http://www.scitopia.org/
      • Science.gov – http://www.science.gov/
      • ScienceResearch.com - http://www.scienceresearch.com/
      • Scitation - http://scitation.aip.org/
      • WorldWideScience.org - http://worldwidescience.org/
      • Science Accelerator - http://www.scienceaccelerator.gov/
      • TechXtra – http://www.techxtra.ac.uk
      • search.optics.org - http://search.optics.org/
    • What would you nominate for number 10
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Chemspider
    • http://www.chemspider.com/
    • A chemistry search engine aggregating & indexing chemical structures and their associated information into a single, free of charge, searchable repository
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Search for different formats
    • PDFs, XLS, presentations, images, videos, podcasts
    • Use Google and Yahoo Advanced Search screen
    • Docjax searches pdf, xls, doc, ppt in Yahoo and Google
      • http://www.docjax.com/
    • Bing.com sometimes picks up unique content
      • use command filetype: in your search strategy e.g. filetype:ppt car ownership UK
    • Slideshare for presentations
      • http://www.slideshare.net/
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • Multi-search engines
    • Zuula
      • http://www.zuula.com
      • runs your search through a range of search tools one by one
      • order can be customised
    • Browsys Finder (was Intelways/Crossengine)
      • http://www.browsys.com/finder
      • similar to Zuula but with more options
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • http://www.browsys.com/finder/ 1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk Click on search tools one by one
  • Images - Google
    • Colour and similar image options now in main image search
      • only one colour can be selected
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Images – Google Swirl
    • Image Swirl in Google Labs
    • http://image-swirl.googlelabs.com/
    • Google experiments with Image Swirl
      • http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2009/11/19/google-experiments-with-image-swirl/
    • Seems to concentrate on patterns and shapes rather than colours
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Images – Google Swirl 01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Images - Bing 01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk No page breaks – just keep scrolling down
  • Chromatik - Image search by colour http://chromatik.labs.exalead.com/
    • Colour choice now in standard Exalead image search
      • can select more than one colour
    • More options on Chromatik
    • Review at http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2009/09/16/searching-for-images-by-colour/
    • Search by colour and keyword
    • Images from Flickr but can’t click through to original page
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • Multicolr Search Lab http://labs.ideeinc.com/multicolr/
    • Search for up to 10 colours
    • No key word searching of content
    • Flickr creative commons images
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • Video & Audio
    • Search engines’ video/audio tabs
    • YouTube, Vimeo.com
    • Zuula - http://www.zuula.com/
      • click on the video tab
    • Browsys Finder
      • http://www.browsys.com/finder/
      • click on the video tab
    • Truveo – http://www.truveo.com/
      • country versions available
    • Odeo - http://www.odeo.com/
    • Podcasts associated with news stories on e.g. BBC, The Guardian, New Scientist, Nature etc.
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • News videos – Blinkx.com 01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Voxalead http://voxaleadnews.labs.exalead.com/
    • Speech to text technology – search inside videos
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • iTunes U – videos and podcasts
    • e.g. Warwick University http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/itunesu/
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Blogs & Twitter
    • For up to the minute news
    • Reputation monitoring, competitive and competitor intelligence
    • Google Blogsearch
      • http://www.google.com/blogsearch
    • Blogpulse
      • http://www.blogpulse.com/
      • click on trends to see graph of how often your terms are mentioned in the postings indexed by Blogpulse
    • Twitter search
      • http://search.twitter.com/
    • Twazzup
      • http://www.twazzup.com/
    1 December 2009 Karen Blakeman www.rba.co.uk
  • LinkedIn 01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • 123People.com
    • Searches
      • image sections of major search engines
      • Flickr
      • Facebook
      • MySpace
      • LinkedIn
      • blogs
      • web
      • videos
      • news
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk
  • Any questions?
    • Stand 734 – UKeiG
    • Presentation on Slideshare
      • http://www.slideshare.net/karenblakeman
    • Email [email_address]
    • Twitter: karenblakeman
    01/12/09 www.rba.co.uk