Me as an information–savvy citizen Search Engines I came to realize recently that Internet usage is very similar to any other habits that a person has; shopping, communicating, choosing specific libraries, etc. no matter what I learned, I first of all rely on my ‘habits’ on searching. I usually get used to a shopping center, a library or two, or a single information inquiry service. When the matter concerns to searching and choosing a product, information, or whatever, I prefer to have very limited spaces for that purpose.
The same concerns also search engines. During my recent experience I found it difficult to follow up with different search engines and their development. Each one strives to compete with other by introducing new features, specific tools, etc. , but the consumer needs a very simple interface, and not much requirements to be technically difficult to utilize. I hardly remember that have used “advanced search” option before we started our course. The first two search tools that I came over were Google and Yahoo.
Although Bing, Ixquick, Infomine and others provide other specific features, it is still habitual for me to hit the bookmarked link of Google on my toolbar. I found it extremely fun to explore the opportunities in search, which doubles and sometimes triples the process of searching and finding what I really needed. I finally had time to explore the “advanced search” options for several engines. Most of the features were more or less the same. It took a lot of time to read and test the features, and didn’t eventually result in making it a habit for me.
I learned to surf on key words and meta words rather well, and didn’t feel a great need to utilize “advanced search” options. The results are much better when I think over about possible key words. However, I do not deny the wider possibility that the advanced search tool allows. When I start searching I try to also strategize my time usage. If I need to search for limited key words, then advanced search option is rather convenient, if there is a need for several keywords, and narrowing down the search, I try to do it through simple options.
In any case, every time I come over with bunch of open p and hidden advertisements, commercial offers and don’t really get what I really need. In this sense it is very difficult to get through what I really need. Level of commercialization is extremely high in the internet. “Google books” is an option I try when I wasn’t to be free from commercials and get a piece of reliable literature. The classification of information as I search is done according to the rating of a specific web-site. As a result we first get the links most visited and the ones that are being advertised.
During our work on “Jegichagi” project I would never need most visited web resource, as it would eliminate the importance of the information we would use in Wikipedia. If there is enough available information, which is more or less the same, our page would not tell anything more. I tried the tip to type “Jegichagi pdf”, or “Jegichagi doc” in order to retrieve documents which are hidden deep in the memory of the search engine. This was one of the options on advanced search tool, which I do it manually and don’t spend extra time on doing it in an advanced way.
The results were very interesting. I could fine several documents, essays, which would not be seen by “Jegichagi” keyword. So far I have started using extensions of the files that I expect to find. The same proved very helpful in getting access to power point presentations, or exe files. However, I can say that searching on my own has become a habit. I remember periods when I would consult with friends and ask for recommendations to find certain information. Now I consult on search engines, libraries, web-resources.
Slideshare, e. g. , is among the latest discoveries that I had, and I really enjoy browsing there. Finding what I need Development of my skills in using internet to consume information took time, and is still developing. I cannot compare internet with anything else, and cannot find an equal option of finding, storing and consuming information. I truly think that even paid libraries are worth being used, given the time and easiness of using the resources. Keeping information and processing it is again much easier to do in an electronic way.
One of the barriers that I overcame was how to plan the search, how to find the needed information, how not to get lost to millions of options and focus on what is really needy. I tried to spend some time reflecting on the structure of information I need, meta words, specifics, tried to find synonyms and common expressions. E. g. if I needed something for ‘public relations’, I had to also search ‘mass communication’, ‘communications’, even ‘marketing’ and ‘consumer relations’. I saw that I get the best and the most useful results when I strategize my search.
In this way am also able to feel more comfortable in comparing and using information. Narrowing down the search sometimes skips valuable information, however is considered useful. Bit from the other hand it is really necessary in some cases. Having my input in the internet Only during the project of “Jegichagi” I realized what a responsible and difficult task is producing a product to be offered to the world. The same task would not seem as a very responsible thing if it was requested in the class, but the fact that millions of people might come over the product that my team produced, caused some inner confusion.
I observed the process from another angle. I came to realize that it is virtually impossible to produce something, which is equally useful and user-friendly to the audience. From this point on I am more tolerant towards resources that do not really meet my needs. I accept them now as something produced for a different audience. This comes to prove the importance that specific communities create their own tools for searching and producing information.
Courtney from Study Moose
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