Notes of a Binge Thinker

Thoughts from NTLP's Executive Director

Have you slashed a website today yet?

Hello BTC!

Here in Texas, we have been cold and icy.  I hope that winter goes away soon.  I am so tired of the snow, ice and cold.

For years, I have been bemoaning the state of the Internet.  The Internet is a wonderful information tool for us to use in our daily lives.  I find it hard to remember what it was like before I could look up a quick question on the Internet.  However, once you get past the ready reference type questions, the Internet is a hard beast to swallow because of the amount of trash that exists alongside the good credible material.  Search engines don’t really help with the situation.  Instead, they give use as much “spam” as they do good material.  For the longest time, I thought that only librarians really cared too much about this as the world at large seemed to be content with “good enough” in their search results.

Last week, while snowed and iced in my house, I read about a search engine called Blekko that launched last fall.  Blekko has taken a new approach to search by allowing users to create custom search through the use of slashtags.    The purpose behind this approach is that it allows the user to search only the sites that they want by applying a slash tag to sites that are credible and eliminating the spam.  The company explains their approach on their website.

how to slash the web

make ’em:
Make a slashtag that includes just your favorite sites. make it as narrow (/scuba) or as broad (/favorites) as you like. Add that slashtag to any search and you’re only searching those sites.
use ’em: find a friend’s slashtag and get in their head for your searches. For example, try searching Rich’s home brewing slashtag for quality info on brewing your own beer (ex. wheat beer /homebrew).
make ’em better: We’ve already created hundreds of topic slashtags that you can search now. everything from /conservative, to /humor to /vc is there. Drop us a tweet (@blekko) and tell us if you think any are missing sites or if you have ideas for other topics.

 

I haven’t had a chance to use the search engine yet, but I see a lot of application in a library setting.  You can create your own reference searches for topics often asked about in the library.  You can then point this out to patrons when they come to search for that topic.  To see an example, check out this tutorial on how to use Blekko and other custom search engines.

So, what do you think BTC, can we make searches mean more or we stuck with the spam along with the good?

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Written by amwlkaw

February 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

Posted in Misc

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