Monday, September 26, 2011

Sooooo much more than simply searching!

I found this week's exercises completely fascinating - and I even stumbled into a website that I hope to return to in the future. 

You ask about searching before the MAPping activities?  It involved going to Google - I'm one for finding something I can both get used to and comfortably use, and this was the first one - entering what I was searching for in various combinations until satisfactory results pop up, and the job was done.  Unless the task was college oriented in which case I would search through the library databases and ensure 'peer-reviewed', etc.  Now I see there can be so much more to it - and that 'so much more' is (to a curious mind like mine) additional fascination beyond the material primarily searched for. 

I was already aware to a minor degree of the significance of website extensions - being from England meant that was automatic knowledge, and my email address being a 'hotmail.CO.UK' account highlighted this further.  I have heard since of other country extensions too:  .au (Australia I believe as opposed to Austria), also extensions for Japan, China, Hong Kong, and others.  It seems a little unclear as to whether .co specifically refers to 'company' or 'country'.  I did not know quite how many extensions there were though.  It's certainly useful to know - specifically to know WHAT they mean. 

It was also helpful to read (somewhere in the exercise) that when searching, if you encounter problems, deleting the search request back, one '/' at a time to ultimately the domain name alone, can help provide solutions. 

I was a little startled to discover that, for example, an individual professor at a college who holds his own controversial viewpoint, might have his own page embedded within the 'otherwise'(?) highly reliable college website.  To see both how to spot this, and also how to dig out archived pages that have been removed from ('censored', one might say, out of) the web, was both enlightening and fascinating. 

As for the site I chose, about the cat reactions to bearded men - everything in this exercise to me seemed to point to the site being either genuine or at least harmless.  Multiple links used the site, or pages therein, as examples for exercises in "is the information presented here hoax or true?" vein.  All the searches listed the domain itself high up as included in multiple other sites, followed by several results raising the 'hoax or no?' question. 

And adverts?  Well all this information and these facilities are freely provided, but we all know that's impossible.  Advertisers provide the money the facilitators need!

Oh - the chance to track the history of a website, how busy it is/has been? - again fascinating.  And the discovery that so often the position of a site on a search engine results list has nothing to do with its veracity, reliability, relevance, ... , but is down to merely its hit rate? - just plain, hmm, is 'scary' too strong a word?  Disappointing, certainly. 

Closing remark:  I wish it didn't take me sooooo long to figure out how to add a new blog! :(  Tech issues caused further issues last week, but every new blog I've tried to add has taken me forever to remember/refigure how to do it!

This feels like it's got longer than it needed to, and thus taken longer than it should have, so I'm done now,

'Til next week,

Andy P

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