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WISH - Knowledge Workers Wiki
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WMHLN Forum 070522 (2): Technology
What are they?
The most popular definition of Search 2.0 Engines comes from Ezzy Elbrahim in article “Search 2.0 vs Traditional search”, which defines them as “third generation”.
Third-generation search technologies are designed to combine the scalability of existing internet search engines with new and improved relevancy models; they bring into the equation user preferences, collaboration, collective intelligence, a rich user experience, and many other specialized capabilities that make information more productive.
There is a whole host of companies who produce these third generation search engines all with a range different functionality. Again Elbrahim reviews several of these search engines and identifies the following key features:
Pattern recognition and adaptive filtering
Community driven search
Social networking blended with search
Concise web summaries
What are examples of the tools?
Third generation search engines
Swickis are a new kind of search engine or search results aggregator and can be thought of as community powered search engines. They are tailored to produce only the targeted search results that search engine creators and their community want by controlling the sites searched. These deep and focused searches are potentially more relevant than those produced by general search engines. Swickis use the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to continually tweak and improve search results. They pull in new and relevant information as it is published on targeted websites or blogs, which offer currency of results. This process is organised through a customisable widget, which can be published on a web site, complete with its very own buzz cloud that constantly updates to show what are the “hot” search terms within the swicki community.
Example of a library swiki
Library 2.0 search engine
developed in Australia, has been exploring more intelligent ways to find information for users in a more meaningful way. In a nutshell, Lexxe aims to do what traditional search engines already do, but more efficiently. Lexxe is a linguistic search engine, combining generic search engine and answer engine capabilities. It is designed to extract short answers on the fly, instead of finding the page on which the answer might be located.
The technology is built upon the foundation of advanced Natural Language Processing. It emphasises the processing of language from the level of words and the meanings associated with them. Queries expressed in natural language are more precisely worded by users, therefore, better results are usually retrieved, particularly short answers, because natural language queries are often less ambiguous than key words
Results are clustered. The clusters can be seen as text classification of the information returned or themes that are generalised out of them. This feature can help users to find something that may not appear in the results snippets or to re-organise the search with those cluster words/phrases.
Example of a Lexxe search
- A search on
“web2 search engines in libraries”
resulted in 42 results and the following clusters within those results: Libraries – Computers - Library 2.0 - Blogging - Topic or Web
The same search on Google returned 2,010,000 hits
Clusty is a clustering search engine. It searches across several search engines, [but not Google and Yahoo, which reduces comprehensiveness], combines the results, and generates an ordered list based on comparative ranking. This "metasearch" approach helps raise the best results to the top and pushes spam items to the bottom. This is done using algorithms involving words and phrase similarity, with the addition of heuristic programming. When a search is initiated on Clusty, the categories, or clusters, are generated on the fly. There is no pre-existing taxonomy or controlled vocabulary in use. Clusty searches for web results, but also enables searching of news, blog posts and images.
Clusty is beginning to be rated in search engine rankings and also to be recommended on some University web sites in the
Example of a Clusty search –
A search on “
web2 search engines for libraries”
retrieved a list of the top 112 results of at least 14,000. The clusters within the results were: Blog (21) -Google (15) - Social (14) - Tagged, Bookmarks (9) - Ajax (10) - Resource (6) - Librarians (7) - Search Tools (4) - Web2.0 Applications (4) - Wiki (5)
Traditional Search engines
If you are not quite ready for the third generation of search engines but need to check what web 2 resources are available, there are a range of search discovery tools to use. The following entries concentrate on selected search engines that are likely to be most useful to health library staff in discovering blogs, RSS feeds and wikis that relate to health libraries or healthcare. They cover generalist search engines, blog and RSS search engines and to a more limited extent wikis and podcasts.
Guides to search engines
Search Engine Watch
Pandia Search Central
Some of their recommended sites like
, which creates a "mind map" of related terms, and
, which is a “visual meta-search engine”, have interesting approaches to filtering or displaying results, but the results for test searches for blogs and RSS were not good and have not been included.
Generalist traditional search engines
- if used as search terms, the main and advanced search tools return blogs, RSS and wikis – There is also a Google blog search see below.
- if used as search terms, the main and advanced search tools return blogs, RSS and wikis
- if used as search terms, the main and advanced search tools return blogs, RSS and wikis. NB There is a search tab specifically for blogs.
- if used as search terms, the main and advanced search tools return blogs, RSS and wikis. NB There is a search tab specifically for video.
- if used as search terms, the main and advanced search tools return blogs, RSS and wikis. NB There are tabs for searching for MP3/audio and video.
Blog search engines
– Can search for blogs, feeds, posts and citations
Google blog search
- advanced option can search for blogs in addition to posts
IceRocket Blog search
- one of the most heavily used blog search engines, but it is not obvious how to filter to blogs rather than posts
- probably the best known blog search engine. Searches for posts and blogs
Blog Meta search engines
- searches across following blog search engines:
currently off line]
- searches across:
Google blogs, Technorati, Blogpulse, Sphere, and Bloglines
RSS search engines
Search Engine Watch
has an extensive section on RSS search engines.
– lists 33 RSS search engines, but many of them gave poor results to test searches, so this list is very selective.
- a search engine specifically designed for finding RSS and Atom feeds fast and accurately
- reputed to have over 4 million feeds indexed and be fully searchable. Recommended by several sites, including
, but it is currently off line [Dec 2007]
- a medical RSS feed provider as well as a search engine built on data collected from RSS feeds
- searchable RSS directory of good quality health-related newsfeeds.
- a new RSS search engine for news feeds and other information (e.g. blogs) syndicated as RSS
Wiki search engines
There did not appear to be any major wiki search engines, apart from using “wiki” as a search term with the general search engines, which seemed fairly successful. The following resources have limitations:
– a wiki of wikis and new wikis with a search facility
- currently very limited coverage
Podcast search engines
- this was the first search engine to can find podcasts according to the words spoken during them
- more UK content than other sites
- finds audio files from across the Web including podcasts and interviews
What are the initiatives in the West Midlands?
What are the learning opportunities available?
help on how to format text
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