Sunday, June 04, 2006


The homework, posted here with sassnotes:

Use the to find links to specialized search engines. Comment on the directories you found that are of interest to you?

I tried using the hierarchical structure but was not finding it helpful. I ended up using the search statement “search engines” to find 14 categories of search engines. Overall I did not find the Open Directory Project to be very useful. It has a limited number of recommended sites and does not seem to have a very active community contributing to the service, as evidenced by their postings for recruiting volunteers throughout the site.

For instance, I thought search engines might be found hierarchally under “computers”, eventually it was found, but only under computers:internet:searching:search engines (345)

Hiearchical searching is very limiting on the web, it may be useful to find keywords and refine searches, but to find “search engines” on the Open Directory Project was counterintuitive. This could be corrected by more variations in indexing.

also, misleading that some areas cited (0) results but if you click on the topic it provides results but does not explain that they are “near hits” (such as Top:Computers:Directories (0) but if you click on that it brings up other categories under computers.

I felt there was not enough explanation about the organization of the site, stuff was there, but not necessarily authorative based on recommendations from volunteer users. Endorsement by major internet service provider AOL was suspect as well, and I would like to have seen more disclosure on how and why they support the project.

I was pretty unimpressed with the “Awards” they’ve won.

comment: I felt like getting credit and taking a break from all this library related searching and do what I do best, find inconsistencies and inaccuracies in music databases. Oh man if they only paid to be an editor here, delicious and community tagging could save this, no one knows what version is going to take off and the problems of exporting and importing personal bookmarks.

I did find an interesting search engine blog called through an interesting article “When Giant Directories Roamed the Earth” ( that discusses some of the limitations of volunteer indexing selling out to corporations and the challenge to create the most authoritive and useful search engine.

“It will be interesting for me to see if directories last as a useful research tool. Yahoo’s directory, once their crown jewel, now occupies a smidge of real estate towards the bottom of their homepage. There are other players popping up solely for the submission money, though just about all of them are so thin on content that one visit is plenty. Bookmarking services like and Furl are helping us dynamically learn about what people find interesting on the Web, yet there are issues with the free-wheeling and personalized metadata, or folksonomies, that users of these services employ. No one has invented the perfect, omniscient search tool yet. And ya know, I wouldn’t be surprised if the person who creates one gets their idea while in a directory.”

Once upon a time I was known as MDVT79D

Perhaps it is a symptom of spending too much time around trendy people that I am always wondering if ideas are "the next big thing". I can dismiss some of this as trivial, such as debating whether the next pop culture meme is unicorns or ninjas (with the hipster in me knowing that as soon as the crap is on sale at Hot Topic it will reach a saturation point in mainstream culture within a year or two).

What happens when MySpace reaches this saturation point? How long will it take to not put the www before Will anyone use it or will it be a friendster or bebo or come on, I still have a profile up at Makeoutclub!

So now, I wonder even more about the intersections of my personal and professional life. This is the end of privacy folks, and if I want to use to reccomend sites to my library school peers and instructors, I have to think twice about bookmarking the funny perverted furry story for everyone else's amusement. What else have I left laying around the web? If my 1992 posts from Prodigy BBS are ever recovered I've got a lot of embarassing teenage stuff to face up to (thank you mainstream media reports on cybersex for letting me find all those pervs, or letting them find me), but the documentation of my involvement and the evolution of the online NKOTB community would be incredible to examine (the networking, fan fiction, online identity, celebrity gossip, online sales etc.)

But that me has vanished from the internet (except when I invoke her, and maybe when I get around to scanning that fan fiction).
However, I am living here for a while:

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