|Tips on finding
more of what you want on the Internet
This section will soon contain many more tips for helping you find
what you are looking for on the World Wide Web. In particular, we'll
share some of the techniques we developed for finding out about
|1 Our current
favorite places to search are Google and Ixquick Metasearch.
A metasearch site means that when you search there, it goes to several of the major
search engines and indexes and compiles the results for you.
We've recently discovered and have been using
Teoma, now owned by AskJeeves,
which provides optional folders to focus the results of its search.
It's also the first engine that fully indexed us.
Google will usually give you the most possibly
One fine aspect of Google is that they cache all their hits. If you
click on a link and get an error message, click on the word "cache" at the bottom of the
listing. You will get a snapshot of that page when Google looked at
it. This usually means you get text but not pictures.
One thing we've noticed about Google is that
the technology, which measures how popular a site is in addition to
relevance, tends to come up with a lot of mega-sites which don't always
contain a lot of useful information. (There are at least half a dozen
sites which created nationwide databases of one sort or another and
wait for others to give them URLs or ads to populate the site). It
also sometimes means that the best site is not necessarily high on
the list of returns.
This limitation is one reason we like
If a historic location has a web site, Ixquick will probably list it first.
However, results tend to head off
to complete irrelevance after the first few
listings, although they've been getting better in the year since we
began using them.
National Park Service has
added a feature to each location's homepage called a Printable Travel
Guide. This collects pretty much all the information scattered
throughout the facilities, fees, and travel pages of that site into one
standardized format that usually prints out in 2 to 3 pages.
|3 Dreaded dead links.
Often, when trying to link to a site, you will get an error message
(most often 404) that says the site you want cannot be found.
The first thing to do (always) is check your spelling and syntax (most
of my errors along this line are using a comma instead of the period
in the address)
If that's OK, go back up the link. The particular
page may have been removed or corrupted, but you might still find what
you need somewhere in same site. So if the address is "www.site.com/directory/catalog/item.html"
(not a real address) and it won't open, delete the "item.html", then
the "catalog", or even just start with the "site.com" to see if
anything is still there.
You may not be able to get into an intermediate level
part of the path, like "catalog", because it may be where processes
take place that the public is not supposed to see, so don't worry.
|Some of our favorite sites:
If you want to find something fast, why not give
Refdesk a chance? We've
been using this site for years. It is a collection of links to
almost any sort of reference material you could want. Plain
vanilla in appearance, it is lightning fast to load and categorizes
the resources right on the page. (no tunneling through a series of
Along the same lines,
CEO Express is a collection
of business links, tightly organized and to the point. If you
are looking for a business magazine, the site is probably listed here.