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  Net Searching

Internet Searching

This topic has become huge. It's a cliche that as our collective information repositories, ('net based or not), grow exponentially, our ability to seek, sort and create valuable information from the Data Deluge has not kept up. So what can you, Joe Searcher, possibly expect to find? Maybe step one is not to worry about it too much. After all, to once again abuse the Rolling Stones metaphor... you might not always be able to find what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find what you need. So, now that you're relaxed and receptive to some thoughts on search, here's some quick ideas on what you can do.

Widen Your Skills: It'll Save You Time

Most people are at best crude in their search methods. You don't have to study library science or information resources management to pick up some simple basics. Learning just a little bit more than average about the search tools available can help. Find the "advanced" section on your favorite search engine. You don't necessarily have to become a boolean expert, (using operators like and/or/not, etc), to get at least somewhat better results than the norm. Many search engines have a lot of these options in simplified fill-in-the-blank or clickable forms. Add 30 - 60 minutes with the help section, invested one time. This will likely save you five minutes here and there hundreds of times. As an added bonus, you're more likely to find what you seek.

Narrow Your Search: Add Some to Get Less

The vast majority of people type one word into most search query boxes. That's fine if you want to cast a very wide net. (semi-bad pun.) But most of the time, you can probably do better by narrowing just a little bit. You can most frequently narrow a search by simply adding another key word to your search. Start with a single word if you like, but try narrowing with additional keywords. You're looking for results that are both relevant and directly pertinent for your search. Not just anything that happens to match. After all, typing in "cancer" is as likely to get you astrological information as well as medical oncology information, besides the fact that the oncology version of "cancer" alone is a rather wide field in any case. Is cricket a bug or an English field game? You get the idea.

These two simple ideas above can go a long way towards greater success in your search efforts. I may add some more advanced sections later if it looks like people are using this page. There's obviously a lot more to this topic.

  Copyright © 1997 - 2006. Scott Germasie. All rights reserved.