Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Human Research Engines

Posted by cadsmith on November 21, 2007

Reviewed Information Trapping: Real-Time Research on the Web, Calishain, 2006, 328pp. Information traps allow the user to set and forget search details until new results are ready for evaluation. Datastreams may be sourced from search engines, news, blogs, web pages, tagged content, site links, multimedia or conversation groups. Domains may contain commercial or government sites, for example. The input can be filtered through email, client-based, or web-based tools. Results may then be edited and published to email alerts or mailing lists, documents, web sites, or cell phones. Advanced search queries using keywords are covered in depth for engines such as google, yahoo, ask or msn live. These usually involve nouns to monitor data about a thing, person or place. A couple of chapters discuss various aspects of RSS feeds. The traps are refined over time for variables such as what is of interest, where to look, how often, and in what format to review results. Many links are given to web resources in each category. Author’s blog. This covers techniques for automating search using existing utilities. It complements some of the other references discussed previously for structuring a system to emphasize findability, creating scripts to analyze information, or mashups.

Another aspect that has become popular is social-powered search. This involves people who locate or rank results before they are presented to the user. Chacha, Mahalo and recently Searchamigo implement this. Kindle NowNow does it for a portable book reader. Younanimous Aftervote and URL do meta-search. The latter and Sproose allow users to vote on preferences. Mosio handles mobile phone texting. 50matches limits to sites selected by users. myshoppingpal is recent and specialized in its subject matter. Goodsearch donates to user-preferred charities.

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