I hate to drive eyeballs to this nonsense piece from The Telegraph in the UK. Why men are better at Google than women, Andrew Shanahan, The Telegraph (Mar 31)
It purports to present studies that show men search more effectively on the web than women. This conclusion has been arrived at from a study on gender differences done in 2002 of children in a grade six class in a Canadian elementary school. The other study, from 2003, on Search for Information was of 28 grade eight students searching on “how mosquitoes select their prey” on the web and in the library. The author mentions a third study (without a citation) concerning brain function that claims to prove that women are more intutitive, and men better at reading maps – that old chestnut.
Please – do not bother to create a search engine for women. Rather – maybe women would like to show men how to validate findings.
ResearchBuzz proves that date searching in Google (and we presume other search engines) is still unreliable. New items are indexed amazingly quickly – within hours even – (at least from the Tumblr blog), but using date range to control on the date posted fails.
What Color Is This Google Query?, ResearchBuzz (Feb 27)
People working on their family history will want to explore GenealogyInTime Magazine. This is a substantial online resource for articles, news, and resources, and ti offers two custom search engines: the Genealogy Search Engine, and the Family Tree Search Engine. There is also a free weekly e-newsletter. In fact the entire site is free with just a few Google ads to sustain it.
GenealogyInTime Magazine site
The GIT team knows web search – the articles on how to use Google are very good and include excellent guidance on using advanced search features (although section would benefit from a few updated screenshots). The writers examine the presence and consequences of geographic bias of search engines and the personalization of results, and recommend strategies and tools for circumventing both; very few guides recognize those problems.
The site has articles for getting started in genealogy, guides to finding records, and tips on “brickwall” problems – my favourite was “How to read old handwriting”.
Based in Ottawa, Canada, GIT describes itself as “one of the largest independent and free genealogy website in the world (according to Alexa the internet traffic source). People like our website because we are independent and we provide valuable, honest information. We are also much more than just an online magazine. We are a genealogy platform with tools and resources to help people find their ancestors.”
Google Operating System has reported a Google Reading Level Bug (Feb 18). Reading level is a hard-to-find and therefore easy-to-forget search feature on web searches. Find it by picking Search Tools > All Results > Reading level. When it works it helps you zero in on content that is “advanced” or scholarly, vs basic / elementary or intermediate.
Google is still identifying the advanced items but isn’t capturing them in the graph.
If you have some time for pictures and serendipity, this guide to using Pinterest’s Guided Search might be just the ticket.
How to get the most out of Pinterest’s Guided Search, Amy-Mae Elliott, Mashable (Feb 16)
The author says, “Guided Search is a clever yet easy way to sift through Pinterest’s 750 million boards and 30 billion pins to find what you’re looking for.” Posting has a short video and several screenshots. Can’t go astray.
Robert Berkman has some tips on using Facebook as a Personal Research Source (Feb 16). He has found that the search function has improved for searching words and phrases of sources in your newsfeed. But to use this well, you’ll need to be very purposeful in the organizations, publications, and people you follow through Facebook.
Dan Russell’s Answer: How did traffic signs come to be? (Feb 13) illustrates several good things to know about search: 1. Wikipedia can be a good start, 2. patents may be useful – be aware that databases exist; and 3. choice of words (as always) is very important.
Prospect researchers – take note – high net wealth individuals do use social media and they especially use LinkedIn. Helen Brown has an excellent posting with pointers and examples for mining LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
Social media and high net worth individuals by Helen Brown Group (Dec 18)
Dan Russell of Google shows approach and syntax in this posting about researching Xerox. The challenge was to find an organization chart for Xerox, and get information on the CEO Stephen Hoover – and along the way use special Google syntax for related: and inurl:.
Answer: Digging deeply, Search Research (Nov 14)
Mary Ellen Bates had more super-searcher tools and tips for attendees at Internet Librarian 2014. @mebs #internetlibrarian Good reminder that changing position of search terms does make a difference – to which I will add, it can even make a difference in getting a Knowledge nugget. There are several hacking-type of tips using advanced search operators – good to know. And a message for users of Android and iOS devices – look into Google Now – it can anticipate your needs, as Bates shows.