Some of you may be wondering about the morning exercise that I was mentioning about in twitter. Actually since monday morning, Otterman set us a tutorial:
An internet exercise to compare search services
1. Compare a search for "NTU Bike Rally" in Technorati versus Google Blog Search
2. Compare "Raffles Museum" results in Google News versus Yahoo! News.
3. Find a good article about search engines and searches.
4. How would you keep track if anyone is saying something about Raffles Museum online?
And because of all that happened during the past few days (we were very busy preparing for the public bus tour guiding), we only did the overdued exercise this morning.
So, anyway, the answers, as provided by Otterman, eventually (although we did get a small part of it correct...):
1. Google Blog search has a cleaner interface as compared to Technorati, making it easier to search (and nice to see). Also, it has a wider scope and generates more results as compared to Technorati. Therefore Technorati has this idea of allowing people to add a link into their blog posts allowing that post to be shown in its search results. Google Blog search does not need to do that.
2. Google News has a tool called "news archives" which allows for searches of newspaper articles dated up to before 1942, as compared to Yahoo News which only allows for searches up to 30 days ago, thus Google News, again, has a wider scope. Besides, Google News Archives can show the timeline: meaning that it shows the year of the articles containing the search terms, from earliest to latest. The Timeline tool is good if we want to search for old newspaper articles dating back to a few decades ago.
(Ed: Bad news for the people who thought they can access the archives freely; it's USD25.00 per 7 days. Guess like what Otterman says, we got to accumulate more articles before we dive into it, ya?)
3. We do not have to search for complicated scholarly articles on "search engines" but we can just simply google it, perhaps using the search terms: "search engines" explained, and a whole list of relevant results will turn up.
Some good sites
Simple explanation: http://www.smallbizonline.co.uk/about_search_engines.php
For the IT savvy: http://www.lockergnome.com/nexus/it/2005/10/14/search-engines-explained/
Tips for using search engines: http://www.webreference.com/content/search/how.html
The future of search engines: http://www.searchengineguide.com/beal/2004/0128_ab1.html
4. That's pretty simple. We can just subscribe to the feeds provided in Google Blog search, Google News search and Yahoo search. We can combine them under a single group using NetNewsWire Lite and monitor the feeds.