Handout - Mississippi State University

deliriousattackInternet και Εφαρμογές Web

4 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

105 εμφανίσεις

Title:

The Web Beyond Google: Innovative Search Tools and Their Potential in Reference Services
(
Poster session presented at the Emerging

Technologies

Summit, Mississippi State
University, Starkville, MS, September 17, 2010).

Authors:

Lauren Dodd, Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Studies, University of
Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL,
lauren.dodd@gmail.com

William C. Friedman, Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Stu
dies,
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL,
w.c.friedman@gmail.com

Qiong Xu, Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Studies, University of
Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL,
xuqiong66@gmail.com

Brett Spencer, Reference Librarian, Gorgas Library, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa,
AL, (205) 348
-
1200,
dbspence@ua.edu


Abstract:

Our poster will examine Internet search tools that i
ncorporate emerging technologies such
as Web 2.0 and 3.0 features, mobile applications, clustering tools, real time peer
-
to
-
peer
searches, visual searches, and decision
-
making or computational abilities. Reference
librarians everywhere have incorporated Go
ogle into their search repertoires, but should
they also consider lesser known search engines with evolving specializations? Reference
librarians must stay current in their knowledge of search tools to ensure the best possible
services for their patrons.

After assessing several Internet search tools, we will develop a
Quick Guide that provides the names, URLs, search operators, scope, currency, indexing,
three useful features, problems and limitations, relevancy rankings, and likely audience for
each sear
ch tool.

Our poster will address such questions as: do the search features
embedded in these tools offer value not found in Google or other traditional search tools?


Are these search engines more effective for certain types of reference questions or pat
ron
groups? We hope to discuss the implications of these emerging search tools for reference
services.



Correspondence:

We welcome your feedback.
Please contact any of the authors listed above if you have
questions or comments.

Search Engine Assessment
s

Name/URL
:


Silobreaker

http://www.silobreaker.com


Description and Scope
:


A news aggregator, Silobreaker compiles news stories. Under news titles, it states when the news
hit the internet. Further, the main link to the news article sends you to the
latest article on the
topic.

From the main page, you can also filter news based on overall subject. Categories include
“Global Issues”, “Technology”, “Science”, “Business”, “Energy”, and “Countries”.

Along the right side of the page, there are different fr
ames. “In Focus” lists names and terms that
are buzzwords in current news. “Network” shows a name or topic and how it relates to other
buzzwords in the news. “Hotspots” shows where the latest world news is coming from. “Trends”
shows how much certain topic
s have been covered over a certain time period. “Blogs”, which
can be sorted by date or relevancy, provides links to the latest in news blog articles.
“Audio/Visual” links to the latest multimedia news resources. Finally, “Press Releases” details
the lates
t press releases put out by organizations.

Searching is as complex or simple as the user wants. The default, “360º Search”, is a keyword
search. Next is “Network”. To use it, one must click the link. This sends the user to a new page
that explains that Net
work searching shows how a person or organization or a concept is
connected to another person, organization, or concept. A few images show tools that can be used
to narrow an initial search down. A few links are also present, which link to current topics i
n
order to exemplify a Network result. Following “Network” is “Hot Spots”. This focuses on hot
button news from around the world, the same as the box on the front page. However, one is
allowed the freedom to search, in contrast with the top three issues pr
esented in the front page
box. The last search option, “Trends”, shows what topics are searched the most. This covers
social issues, political issues, business issues, and more.

There is also an advanced search option. When selected, a box opens over the w
ebpage. Boolean
operators used in advanced search are the standard AND, OR, and NOT. Limiters allow for users
to chose what publication to search, what language (currently, the language options are “All”,
“English”, and “Swedish”), the format (“News”, “Rep
orts”, “Press Releases”, “Blogs”,
“Audio/Visual”, and “Fact Sheets”), and the time frame in which it was published (from “past 3
hours” to “past 30 days”).Silobreaker also continues the trend of personalization. A login can be
created, along with a custom
page. This allows users to define which news articles they wish to
see initially to reduce the amount of searching conducted and increase the amount of time spent
reading. The inclusion of widgets adds another layer of personalization.


Currency
:

Silobreaker aims to be as current as possible by compiling all of the most current news articles.

Search Operators:

Standard Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are used. Advanced searching offers more
limiters. One can also use reserved words (like product,
company, keyphrase) in brackets.

Three Useful Features

On the fly search disambiguation

While typing in a word or phrase in any search box, different search options are recommended.
Typing in “katrina” will cause a box to pop up that offers “Hurricane Katr
ina [Keyphrase]” along
with persons’ names, other keywords (called “keyphrase” by Silobreaker), and even musical
bands. Other options include companies and products. These types are shown in brackets.

Advanced disambiguation

In basic searching, using the d
isambiguation feature replaces the text one has entered with the
text one wants to search. In advanced searching, selecting a disambiguated phrase locks in the
terms. This means that “Hurricane Katrina [Keyphrase]” will show up as an static box in the
sear
ch field. The box can be removed, but not edited. This helps prevent errors, like accidentally
typing a new keyword in the middle of a word.

Hotspots

Though already touched on, some depth should be added. The front page box presents a map
with 3 or a littl
e more points that are the source of noteworthy news. If the cursor is placed on
any of these points, a new box appears, containing the first paragraph or so of one of the more
recent articles. This box also links to the full article, a paragraph called “I
n Context” that helps
summarize the story, and other recent articles.

Likely Audience
:

Those who want the latest information on the events in the world. Articles on the front page offer
brief descriptions of a topic, but also when the news broke and how ma
ny other articles there are
on the subject.

Problems and limitations
:

Currently, the focus of the site is on English and Swedish language articles. Silobreaker.se is the
only other version of the site.

There is a lot to deal with here. Directing a user to
Silobreaker without some instruction may not
be the best option. A librarian should become familiar with Silobreaker beforehand to best
instruct users.

How Silobreaker D
iffers from Google
:

Silobreaker focuses solely on news. While blogs are searched, perso
nal websites dedicated to a
subject are not included. Also, while things like products and persons can be searched, only news
articles will be returned.




Name/URL

Zuula

http://www.zuula.com


Description:

Zuula is a type of metasearch engine that does not

use an algorithm to combine results for
several search engines. Instead, each search engine is kept separate using tabs, and the user can
review the same search using several popular and newer search engines.


Currency/Indexing and Relevancy Ranking:

Results are as current as each of the search engines are, and indexing/relevancy should be
checked for each individual search engine. Zuula does not change anything about the search
engines


they perform the search exactly as they would on their own homep
age.


Search Operators:


Users can utilize Boolean operators (including “
-
“ in front of a term as “not”), phrase searching,
and searching within a website or type of website
-

ex.: [Alabama football site:espn.com] or
[Martin Luther King Jr. site:.edu]


Thr
ee Useful Features:

--
users can utilize 5 different kinds of search: Web (the entire web), Images, Video, News, Blog,
Jobs. Each search has at least four different search engines to search within.

--
users can customize which search engines they want to sea
rch at once. Don’t like Bing? You
can take it off of your tabs. Want Gigablast to be the first search engine in your list? You can
drag and drop tabs to put them in the order you want.

--
if you click over to another search engine’s tab, your results will b
e on the same page you left
them (ex. If after clicking on page 10 of Google, and you click over to Yahoo’s tab


you will
still be on page 10 of Google when you click back)
.

Likely Audience:

Anyone. Zuula can be useful for users in academic, public, and s
chool library settings who are
looking for a variety of free results. Each search engine has entirely different features and search
algorithms. Public librarians can direct job seekers toward the Job search tab to increase their
chances of finding more li
stings. Students looking for images can search across a variety of
picture sites, not just Google images. The video search includes several sites that users may not
have considered, with content they wouldn’t have found on only YouTube. Zuula is also usefu
l
for information professionals; not only can librarians compare search engines and know which to
recommend to users, but Zuula has been mentioned in a business research article (“The Winning
Mindset: Effective
Competitive

Intelligence Research on the Inte
rnet” by Terry Kendrick) as a
way to search several different sources at once, saving time and energy (and the article warns
business researchers to be careful with typical metasearch engines).


In an interview featured on the blog Library Garden, Zuula’s

CEO, Boris Simkovich, reveals that
“We thought that librarians


as professional researchers
--

would be particularly attracted to
Zuula’s ability to streamline difficult Internet searches. We also thought that librarians would see
Zuula as a way to be mo
re neutral when recommending Internet search tools to patrons. By
introducing Zuula in their research guides, handouts, and links on public access computers,
librarians can leave it up to their patrons to decide which of the major search engines they want
to use for their Internet searches.”


Problems and Limitations:


--
Zuula is still in beta, and has had to remove some search engines from its offerings because
they did not work correctly with Zuula (Zuula provides these kind of updates on their blog,
alth
ough not as regularly anymore.)

--
Zuula’s only real limitation is the search engines it doesn’t offer. However, Zuula will happily
take your suggestions for search engines to add


email them at
info@zuula.com





How

Zuula Differs from Google:

Zuula isn’t hoping to compete with Google, especially since Google is listed in the search tabs.
Zuula is acting as a neutral party, offering users a place to find more results than they would
have if they had only used Google (
or YouTube, or Monster, depending on the Tab you’re
searching). It is a one
-
stop shop search engine that doesn’t rely on algorithms to get you the
relevant information you need.








Name/URL

Bing

http://www.bing.com/


Description:


"It’s best to think of Bing not as a search engine, but a decision engine."


Bing can “enable people to find information quickly and use the information they’ve found to
accomplish tasks and make smart decisions.” Providing suggestions in the leftmost column, Bing
offers customized searching for these types of information:


-

Images


o Find computer wallpaper


o Find black and white pictures


-
Videos


o Find TV shows


o Watch music videos


o See sports videos


-
Shopping


o Find products and get cash back


o G
et a discount at your favorite store


-
News


o See local news


o Get business news


o Find entertainment news


-
Maps


o Get directions/traffic


o Get a Bird's Eye view of your house


o Find nearby

restaurants


-
Travel


o Search flights



o Find hotels


o Get airfare deals



Currency:

Very up
-
to
-
date


Operators:

It supports OR, NOT, “”. It can also interpret and answer certain natural language ready
reference queries such as “definition of [insert word]”.


Three Useful Features:



Excellent image searching: image search with continuous scrolling images results pa
ge that
has adjustable settings for size, layout, color, style and people.



Video search with adjustable setting for length, screen size, resolution and source



Package tracking and tracing. When a user types the name of the shipping company and the
tracking

number Bing will provide direct tracking information.


Likely Audience:

Librarians:

This search engine would be of helpful use in a public library and an academic library. Video
searching and image searching are particularly helpful.

Patrons

Make a
well
-
informed

decision about travel and products using reviews, maps, prices,
comparisons, etc.

Bing can directly display scores from a specific day, recent scores from a league or scores and
statistics on teams or players.

Users can enter math expressions in
the search box using a variety of math operators and (trig)
functions and Bing will provide a direct calculation of the expression.


How Bing Differs from Google:

Compared to the Google search engine, Bing search engine has richer visual presentation and
g
enerally “cleaner” organization, and it goes further in helping patrons make decisions by
presenting reviews and comparisons with certain types of searches. Bing allows users to quickly
get to the category of information they’re seeking, and in some cases

it offers more user
-
friendly
features. Bing changes the background image daily. The images are mostly of noteworthy places
in the world, though it sometimes displays animals, people, and sports. The background image
also contains information about the el
ement(s) shown in the image. The background image
creates a pleasant and smooth search experience.


Beal, Andy,
Bing
.
com/Is it Worth Switching from Google?

(May 28, 2009), retrieve from
http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2009/05/microsoft
-
bing
-
search
-
engine.html














Name/URL:

ChaCha

www.chacha.com


Description:

The scope covers almost anything someone might ask. Most of the information in ChaCha’s
databases consists of succinct answers to ready reference questions, such as quick facts,
statistics, and links. ChaCha also offers videos related to y
our topic after each search that show
how to do something or provide a mini
-
documentary on a topic. The scope of ChaCha goes
beyond the database and encompasses the knowledge of the human “Guides” who answer the
questions. ChaCha currently has about 55,0
00 Guides.


Currency:

Some questions are answered instantaneously, while others may take longer because no one has
asked them before and a human Guide must respond. Most human answers are received within
2
-
3 minutes.


Search Operators:

Works by submit
ting natural language questions online or via a cell phone. You can text, or
simply talk to ChaCha on your phone.


Indexing and Relevancy Ranking:

Users and Guides create and index information as they ask and answer questions. Relevancy is
shaped by both an algorithm and the human Guides.


Three Useful Features:

--
Allow people to use cell phones so they can search even when they are not at a comp
uter.

--
Enables searches to access “off
-
line” information, information known to Guides that may not
be on the internet.

--
ChaCha has Guides, who are “experts” so the information might be more accurate than those
found on message boards.


Problems and Limit
ations:

Some questions take a while to receive an answer. Also, the Guides may not actually be experts
on a topic, but claim to be, and therefore provide inaccurate answers.


Likely Audience:

Anyone desiring a quick answer to a ready reference question an
d anyone who cannot get to
computer readily to search, such as traveling businesspeople, or people without computers.
Those patrons who prefer to use handheld devices will also appreciate ChaCha.


How ChaCha Differs from Google:

Offers much more text an
d voice search options than Google’s 1
-
800 and SMS services. For
research questions, ChaCha may be a starting point because you can receive advice from a
Guide, but Google and other standard search engines will probably produce more extensive
results give
n the limit on how much information you can receive through a text or phone call.

Alex Iskold, ChaCha: A Human
-
Powered Search Engine (December 14, 2006), retrieve from
htt
p://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/chacha_human
-
powered_search.php










Name/URL:

Completeplanet.com

www.completeplanet.com


Description:

Locates 70,000+ specialty search tools on both popular and scholarly subjects. Completeplanet
brings the user to the search screen of those search engines and databases, but doesn’t necessarily
search the contents of those tools. Users can then perform a

targeted search within that specialty
search tool. Many of the search offer dynamically
-
generated results

results that don’t exist
until the search is performed. Specialty search tools find information in the “Deep Web”, the
part of the internet that Go
ogle cannot search. Much of the information in the Deep Web is of
high quality.


Currency:

Updates regularly.


Search Operators:

Allows for natural language, AND, OR, NOT, NEAR (capitalized)””, and + or


system.

Automatic truncation.


Indexing and R
elevancy Ranking:

Machine driven

Completeplanet uses a spider, but their spider only finds sites with searching
features (search engines or databases). The relevancy ranking is determined by a complex test
that assigns each site a score. The relevancy r
anking of each result is displayed.


Three Useful Features:

>Ability to access the Deep Web.

>A directory, “browse tree”, lets you click through to find lists of specialty tools by topic.

>Completeplanet allows you to start with a general subject, then fin
d specialty search tools that
can carry out extremely precise searches.


Problems and Limitations:

Completeplanet produces a lot of “Error 500” and “Error 404” screens. Completeplanet requires
you to go through two of more search steps, since you have to

search Completeplanet for a
specialty search tool first, and then search within that specialty search tool.


Likely Audience:

Almost anyone could find specialty search tools for their interests as Completeplanet lists
specialty tools of public interest
(such as gardening) as well as scholarly interest (such as
industrial engineering). Helps librarians preparing subject pages identify the best search tools for
their patrons. Completeplanet is for serious researchers who want to do in
-
depth mining of the

web.


How CompletePlanet Differs from Google:

Makes a great supplement to Google, since it leads you to search tools that offer material that
Google cannot index. Completeplanet focuses on the Deep Web while Google focuses on the
Surface Web.


Wendy Bo
swell,
About.com Guide/CompletePlanet: Search the Invisible Web with
CompletePlanet
, retrieve from
http://websearch.about.com/od/invisibleweb/a/completeplanet.htm







Name/URL:

Duck Duck Go

http://www.duckduckgo.com


Description:

Searches:

Search (keyword)

Searches for best match, offers different choices if the search is too broad

Information

Searches for information about a searched term, not the term itself

Shopping

Searches for products r
elated to the searched terms


Currency:

Last listed modification to the site is labeled March 15, 2010 to the Privacy Policy. An official
Twitter account allows for users to keep up to date with other changes.


Indexing and Relevancy Ranking:

Duck Duck Go
has a strict privacy policy that attempts to leave the user as anonymous as
possible. No cookies are used, user IP address and browser type is not collected. The only
information gathered are, for instance, “the number of searches for a particular term or
phrase”.


Search Operators:

“!bang” searching (preformed as “![website]”)

If searching a website, the above is followed by one or more keywords. User is also directed to
the website itself. If the site has a search function, the following keywords are placed in the site’s
search function and results are displayed. In general, on
e does not need to input the full URL for
the searched site. An example from DuckDuck Go’s page is as follows: “!careerbuilder”.


The following will search for the input, but will also do specified functions. These special
functions are as such:

“pw” gener
ates a random password for the user.

“ip” gets the IP address of the computer that searched it.

“time in x” gets the current local time of location “x”. (“x” does need to be replaced
by a desired location)


Other search tools

Find phone numbers and their l
ocations (land lines only)

Tracking numbers (FedEx, UPS, etc.)

IP address information (locations)

Calculations

Conversions (monetary and measurements)

Zip codes

Chemical formulas

Car serial numbers

ISBN searching

UPC codes

Street addresses


Three Useful Fe
atures:

For Librarians:

ISBN searching

!bang searching

Chemical formulas


General Public:

Password creation (“pw”)

Tracking number searching

Car serial number searching


Problems and limitations:

No image searching (user is redirected to Bing, Google, or
Yahoo’s image search engines),
chemical formula searching is case sensitive (“h2o” does not retrieve information on water,
while “H2O” does), settings changes to font size and style do not work, street address searching
does not work with all addresses. A
lot of information is provided by other sites (Wikipedia
entries, Wolfram Alpha information).


Likely Audience:

Libraries:

This search engine would be of great use in a public library. ISBN searching can help
librarians hunt down fiction or nonfiction work
s for users and !bang searching can help
when sites are tough to navigate. Chemical formulas have the ability to be useful,
depending on the community, but this would be based on individual cases.


Patrons:

Password creation is rather tricky in this day an
d age. But, the random character
generator Duck Duck Go offers a great alternative to using things such as birthdates or
zip codes as passwords. UPS and FedEx tracking can be tricky, but the tracking number
searching can help out anyone. Finally, searching

car serial numbers can help a user
determine facts about a used car they might purchase.



How DuckDuck Go Differs from Google:

Bang searching (searching with a particular web site from Bang’s search screen).

No image searching

Asks for user input on deve
loping new features

Search results are auto
-
loaded at the bottom of the list (no result pages)

Broad searches can be narrowed down by a list of possibilities

Wikipedia articles are always at the top of a narrow enough search


Anphicle,
anphicle.com/Duck
Duck Go Search Engine Guide & Review (April 6th, 2010)
,
retrieve from
http://anphicle.com/2010/04/06/duck
-
duck
-
go
-
search
-
engine
-
guide
-
review/















Name/URL:

Spezify

http://www.spezify.com

Description:

Searches:

Each of the following can be turned on or off as the user sees fit on the fly. Scrolling the mouse
over a result produces specific information. Clicking on a resul
t zooms in on that specific results
and provides extra information. Three buttons allow the user to link to the result, save the result
to a favorites list powered by Spezify, or go to the page.

Images

Retrieves numerous image results, includes results fro
m Amazon.com and eBay and
Flickr

Text

Searches for any textual reference to the searched terms (excludes tweets); about a
paragraph of text is displayed under the websites’ title.

Video

Finds ten You Tube results applicable to the searched terms

Sound

Find
s ten audio results that contain the searched terms

Tweets

Finds twelve tweets (from Twitter) with reference to the searched terms


Currency:

Spezify officially launched in June 2009. The official Twitter account was last updated January
27, 2010.



Search

Operators:

No special tools other than basic Boolean modifiers (“OR” and “AND”)


Indexing and Relevancy Ranking:

Spezify searches the following sources to find the best results to search terms: Amazon, eBay,
Yahoo, MSN, Twitter, Flickr, Digg, SoundCloud,
Collecta, and YouTube. One can limit which
sources are searched and limit the search results to any combination of the sources mentioned.


Three Useful Features:

For Librarians:

Visual searching

Search categories useful and modern

On the fly search modifyi
ng


General Public:

Clean layout and easy to use

Favorites list

Twitter searching


Problems and Limitations:

The space the results appear in can get rather cluttered. There is no method to how the results are
displayed. It also relies too heavily on other
search engines (Yahoo and MSN). Further, to get
other results, one must turn on and off the desired result (for example, for new image results to
load, one must turn off the image results and then back on). The Safe Search feature does not
catch all questi
onable materials. There also is no method to results relevancy.


Likely Audience:

Libraries:

This search engine would be of great use in a public library or an academic library. Some patrons
think in terms of images or small sized blurbs of information.
This would be useful to either
case. While public librarians, notably children’s librarians, may get more use out of this search
engine, more and more students think in such visual and concise ways. Not to be used in lieu of a
journal database, the search
engine provides great help in answering general questions.


Patrons:

While the Safe Search still needs some fixing, children and young adults would really gravitate
to such an interactive and dynamic interface. As mentioned, creative individuals who dislik
e the
rigid list setup of other search engines would use this with ease. The last group to mention is the
Web 2.0 crowd. Along with searching Twitter, interactivity is an important part of Web 2.0
theory.


How Spezify Differs from Google:

Search results ca
n be changed on the fly (any combination of the above search types)

Adobe Flash Player interface

Results are not in a list; rather, they are displayed as found in a random pattern across an
expandable field in the browser window. As the results comply, the
y expand in all directions in
on a two dimensional plane. As things load, one clicks and drags in the opposite direction to
view other results (drag down to scroll up, drag right to go left).


Alejandro Piccolini,
Spezify.com, the search engine to “find” w
hat you are looking for

(August
4th, 2009), retrieve from:
http://gooonews.com/2009/08/04/spezify
-
com
-
the
-
search
-
engine
-
to
-
find
-
what
-
you
-
are
-
look
ing
-
for/







Name/URL:

Wolfram|Alpha

http://www.wolframalpha.com/


Description:

Wolfram|Alpha contains "10+ trillion pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models,
and linguistic capabilities for
1000+ domains." There is no comprehensive list of all of Wolfram
Alpha's sources.

Currency:

Wolfram|Alpha's data is continually being updated, often in real time.

Search Operators:

It does not use Boolean operators; a search attempted with "AND" retrieved
results for the
country of Andorra. Queries should be entered in a logical order. Wolfram|Alpha will interpret
your queries' meaning (Ex. "ibm apple" retrieves a comparison of IBM and Apple's stocks).
There are no limiters. Quotation marks do not allow a

phrase to be searched as is.


Indexing and Relevancy Ranking:


Wolfram|Alpha does not index any sites; it is already full of internal knowledge. Unlike Google,
data sources are selected by humans, not by robotic web crawlers.


Three Useful Features:

--
ab
ility to compute complex mathematical equations, as well as formulas you create (ex. adding
1 cup oatmeal + 1/2 tsp. sugar will give you the total nutritional information)

--
ability to compare and connect seemingly unrelated pieces of information (ex. "com
pare 1
small chicken breast to 1 small corn dog" compares the nutritional information of each, and
comparing cities for relocation on a particular salary yields all relevant data for both cities, such
as grocery costs and crime rate)

--
contains current and

historical data on almost every subject imaginable, and is continuously
adding data; see http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/ for categories of example queries.


Problems and Limitations:

--
sometimes misinterprets natural language and lengthy queries.

--
does not give narrative answers to questions.

--
can only know things that are known, and are somehow public.

--
one cannot know for certain whether Wolfram|Alpha covers a subject until the query is made.



Likely Audience:

Wolfram|Alpha can be used in any
type of library and any type of education setting. Academic
and public librarians can use Wolfram|Alpha to answer factual, ready
-
reference type questions,
such as "What was the weather in Jasper, AL on June 10, 1985?" or "Who was the president of
the U.S.
in 1822?" A school librarian can help elementary school students use it as an almanac,
encyclopedia, and basic calculator. Science librarians can direct their patrons to the complex
math features, as well as all of the geological, health, and engineering,
and statistical data.


How Wolfram|Alpha Differs from Google:

Wolfram|Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine"
--

a ready reference source in and of
itself, because it makes computations internally instead of searching the web and returning links.
Its
aim is to "provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to
factual queries."


Notes:


--
Although Wolfram|Alpha combines many sources to retrieve its data, a list of background
sources or references is typically available

via the "Source information" button at the bottom of a
results page.

--

Wolfram|Alpha considers itself a primary source, so information retrieved from it should be
cited.













Name/URL:

Wowd

http://wowd.com


Description:

Theoretically, the entire
internet; practically, all of the internet that has been viewed by a Wowd
community user (someone who has downloaded the Wowd software).


Currency:

Results are current to the second; Wowd updates whenever a user visits a site


Search Operators:


No Boolean

searching (i.e., the "and" will be included in the search). Can use quotation marks to
search for phrases.


Indexing and Relevancy Ranking:

Users agree to install Wowd's software on their machines and have their browsing tracked
anonymously, which builds

Wowd’s search index. There are two filters for results: freshest and
most popular. Both of these categories are determined by the data provided from users’
computers and what they are currently searching (or what large groups of people have searched
the
most), so the data is entirely dependent on real users’ search habits.


Three Useful Features:

--
using the Wowd Hot List, you can see what's popular, from pages across the entire web,
including the “Deep Web”

--
Wowd incorporates Twitter information, but Wo
wd uses Twitter information as “metadata” to
help figure out what real people think are good web pages.


Wowd takes tweets, determines
which ones contain URLs, and then filters that set according to some re
-
tweet and follower
criteria.


--

spam and virus
-
l
aden Web sites won't show up unless Wowd users visit them often


Problems and Limitations:

--
users must install the Wowd software on their computers to access certain features, such as the
tag cloud and live stream, a recommendation engine and advanced sea
rch features (like the
option to search through one's own Web history)

--
the installation of Wowd software is also crucial in the way the search engine functions


the
more users who contribute, the better results, and vice versa (note: Wowd states that th
e search
engine will work well even if only a small proportion of users are running the resident software)

--
users will likely be concerned about privacy/installing software (note: Wowd claims that its
software keeps searches completely anonymous)

--
no use

of Boolean operators


Likely Audience:

--
Wowd would be most useful in an academic, public, or school library, and this is a search
engine librarians could recommend for extensive use at home, for any kind of topic. For
example, searching for “Haiti” or “C
hile” would lend the most up to date news on the earthquake
devastation in those countries, while Google’s top hits for those searches are country profiles.
Wowd is an entirely new way of thinking about search engines


it is a peer to peer network for
fre
sh, popular information all over the internet. Anyone is able to visit Wowd's website and
perform basic searches, but librarians should consider downloading the software and
participating in the Wowd community in order to contribute to

and keep alive

this
democratic
source of information.


How Wowd Differs from Google:

--
real
-
time search engine

--
powered by real people, not robot web crawlers; results are all based on human judgment

--
people anonymously nominate public web pages for inclusion in Wowd
simply by visiting
them; when lots of people visit the same pages, these pages increase in popularity, can become
part of the Wowd Hot List, and will appear near the top of search results.