Internet Research: Finding Websites, Blogs, Wikis, and More


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Introduction to internet research for second-semester freshman-composition classes

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Internet Research: Finding Websites, Blogs, Wikis, and More

  1. 2. The Internet vs. the Web <ul><li>Internet : “the world’s largest computer network made up of millions of computers. It’s really nothing more than the ‘plumbing’ that allows information of various kinds to flow from computer to computer around the world.” </li></ul><ul><li>Web : “one of many interfaces to the Internet, making it easy to retrieve text, pictures, and multimedia files from computers without having to know complicated commands.” </li></ul><ul><li>Other Internet protocols and interfaces include e-mail, chat rooms and bulletin boards, internet mailing lists, newsgroups, and databases accessed via Web interfaces. </li></ul>
  2. 3. Search Engines <ul><li>Search engines are “databases containing full-text indexes of Web pages” like white pages . </li></ul>
  3. 4. Issues with Search Engines <ul><li>The cost of crawling can be high. </li></ul><ul><li>Web crawlers are “dumb.” </li></ul><ul><li>Users can have unrealistic expectations and limited skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Because people want immediate results, they cannot be thorough. </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines are biased toward text—though this is changing. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Main Functional Parts of a Search Engine <ul><li>Crawler or spider – a computer program that “crawls” a website and sends information back to the database </li></ul><ul><li>Database – collection of information from websites crawled </li></ul><ul><li>Indexing program – a program that indexes words in the database </li></ul><ul><li>Retrieval engine – the computer program that takes your keywords and brings back the hits </li></ul><ul><li>HTML interface – what you see on the search engine’s website </li></ul>
  5. 6. Typical Retrieval and Ranking Factors <ul><li>Popularity of the page </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency of terms </li></ul><ul><li>Number of query terms that are matched </li></ul><ul><li>Rarity of terms </li></ul><ul><li>Weighting by field </li></ul><ul><li>Proximity of terms </li></ul><ul><li>Weighting according to the order in which the searcher entered terms </li></ul><ul><li>Word variants (and/or truncation) </li></ul><ul><li>Case-sensitivity </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of documents in database </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance feedback applied to retrieved records </li></ul><ul><li>Date </li></ul>
  6. 7. Sample Search Engine <ul><li>AOL Search </li></ul>
  7. 8. Comparing Results from Major Search Engines <ul><li> Ranking </li></ul>
  8. 9. List of Search Engines <ul><li>4R x T Wiki: Search Engines </li></ul>
  9. 10. Meta and Multi Search Engines <ul><li>Both meta and multi search engines search other search engines, directories, and so on rather than their own databases. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A meta search engine combines results from the search. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A multi search engine displays results from each database separately. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Sample Meta Search Engine <ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 12. Sample Multi Search Engine <ul><li>Zuula </li></ul>
  12. 13. List of Meta and Multi Search Engines <ul><li>4R x T Wiki: Meta and Multi Search Engines </li></ul>
  13. 14. Web Directories <ul><li>Web directories are “collections of links to Web pages and sites that are arranged by subject” like yellow pages. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Web Directory Models <ul><li>Closed models rely on paid workers to choose links and are subject to some quality control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open model directories rely on volunteers and can develop quality-control problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Directory Project </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Issues with Web Directories <ul><li>Directories are inherently small. </li></ul><ul><li>They may have unseen editorial policies. </li></ul><ul><li>They are not always current. </li></ul><ul><li>They may provide lopsided coverage. </li></ul><ul><li>They may charge for listings. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Advantages to Web Directories <ul><li>Human beings are involved in assigning web sites to specific categories making your hits more relevant. </li></ul><ul><li>The databases are small, so you get fewer hits. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Sample Directory <ul><li>Yahoo! Directory </li></ul>
  18. 19. List of Directories <ul><li>4R x T Wiki: Directories </li></ul>
  19. 20. Invisible Web <ul><li>“ Text pages, files, or other often high-quality authoritative information available via the World Wide Web that general-purpose search engines cannot, due to technical limitations, or will not, due to deliberate choice, add to their indices of Web pages. Sometimes also referred to as the ‘Deep Web’ or ‘dark matter.’” </li></ul>
  20. 21. Sample Invisible Web Search Tool <ul><li>IncyWincy: The Invisible Web Search Engine </li></ul>
  21. 22. List of Invisible Web Directories and Search Engines <ul><li>4R x T Wiki: Invisible Web Search Tools </li></ul>
  22. 23. Blogs <ul><li>A blog is “a Web site with frequent, dated entries listed in reverse chronological order. The entries have links and commentary and often an opportunity for others to comment.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Enter the Web log. Quickly conjugated to ‘Weblog,’ the shift of a space makes ‘we blog,’ and the shortened version is ‘blog.’ It has become the ‘in’ technology of the moment on the Net.” </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs are just one type of social media, including microblogging, social networking, etc. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Advantages and Disadvantages of Blogs <ul><li>“ Despite the many purely personal-focused blogs and opinionated pontificating of others, Weblogs offer access to breaking news, rumors, evaluations, and other information that might not otherwise be readily available from our traditional databases. Above and beyond their information value, the software for creating blogs is basic content management software, and it can fulfill purposes well beyond the keeping of an online diary.” </li></ul>
  24. 25. Sample Blog <ul><li>ResourceShelf </li></ul>
  25. 26. Sample Blog Search Engine <ul><li>Google Blog Search </li></ul>
  26. 27. List of Blog and Social Media Search Engines <ul><li>4R x T Wiki: Blog and Social Media Search Engines </li></ul>
  27. 28. Wikis <ul><li>A wiki is “type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring. The term wiki can also refer to the collaborative software itself (wiki engine) that facilitates the operation of such a website, or to certain specific wiki sites, including the computer science site (an original wiki), WikiWikiWeb, and the online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia.” </li></ul>
  28. 29. Sample Wikis <ul><li>Wiki Wiki Web </li></ul><ul><li>Wookieepedia </li></ul>
  29. 30. List of Wiki Directories and Search Engines <ul><li>4R x T Wiki: Wiki Directories and Search Engines </li></ul>
  30. 31. Web Rings <ul><li>“ Similar sites are grouped together in rings and each site is linked to another by a simple navigation bar. Rings form a concentration of sites, allowing visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. Each Ring is created and maintained by an individual web site owner called the RingMaster. RingMasters determine the look and feel of the Ring, approve and manage member sites, and encourage other sites to join. RingMasters help to develop virtual communities based on the Ring topic.” </li></ul>
  31. 32. Finding Web Rings <ul><li>WebRing Directory and Online Community </li></ul><ul><li>Ringlink Webring Directory </li></ul>
  32. 33. Finding Listservs and Groups <ul><li>CataList </li></ul><ul><li>Google Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Ning Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! Groups </li></ul>
  33. 34. Finding Message Boards and Forums <ul><li> </li></ul>
  34. 35. Finding Websites Using Social Bookmarking Services <ul><li>Diigo (search box in toolbar) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced Search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delicious (search box on main page) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore tags </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digg </li></ul><ul><li>StumbleUpon </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia's list of social bookmarking sites </li></ul>
  35. 36. Bookmark Search Engines <ul><li>Xmarks </li></ul>
  36. 37. E-mail Alerts <ul><li>Google Alerts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Scholar Alerts (instructions) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yahoo! Alerts </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Social Mention </li></ul><ul><li>WatchThatPage </li></ul><ul><li>Favebot </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Tweet Scan </li></ul><ul><li>TweetAlarm </li></ul><ul><li>Twilert </li></ul>
  37. 38. Miscellaneous <ul><li>Browsys Finder </li></ul><ul><li>findingDulcinea </li></ul><ul><li>Joongel </li></ul><ul><li>Symbaloo </li></ul>
  38. 39. List of Other Search Tools <ul><li>4R x T Wiki: Other Search Tools </li></ul>
  39. 40. Sources <ul><li>Curling, Cindy. “A Closer Look at Weblogs.” 15 Oct. 2001. 8 July 2002 < notes46.htm>. </li></ul><ul><li>Notes, Greg R. “The Blog Realm: News Sources, Searching with Daypop, and Content Management.” Online 26.5 (Sep./Oct. 2002). 20 June 2003 < online/sep02/OnTheNet.htm>. </li></ul><ul><li>Sherman, Chris, and Gary Price. The Invisible Web: Uncovering Sources Search Engines Can’t See . Medford, NJ: Information Today-CyberAge Books, 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wiki.” 8 Oct. 2006. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia . 8 Oct. 2006 <>. </li></ul>