Blog entries

This page contains all the blogs from the whole semester.


Ruckus.com

by BrianHeM10BrianHeM10 (19 Nov 2008 17:44)

Free for .edu Addresses. Unlimited downloading of music.

Ruckus Wikipedia Page
Ruckus Website


Facebook Lexicon

by bryblumbryblum (17 Nov 2008 22:23)

Alright, here it is - Facebook Lexicon.

facebook-lexicon-hangover-p.gif

Facebook Lexicon counts occurrences of words and phrases on Walls over time.

It is awesome. You can even compare two different words. Enjoy.


Sporcle

by bryblumbryblum (17 Nov 2008 22:22)

This is a great little website, perfect for wasting time. Sporcle is a continually-evolving trivia site, with the tagline "mentally stimulating diversions".

sporcle.jpg

Basically, there are many different categories or lists, and the user tries to fill in the lists. Kind of hard to explain. Try it out, and you'll be hooked.


Windows Alerts

by BrianHeM10BrianHeM10 (15 Nov 2008 19:34)

I just found out this service existed. We only focused on Yahoo and Google e-mail alert services, but in case anyone wants to try out one for Live Search, go to Windows Alerts. I haven't tried it yet, but looks interesting.


Resizing Your Images in Wikidot

by thauckthauck (07 Nov 2008 22:19)

Wikidot actually makes resizing your images pretty easy. You can read their description of how to do it here, but I'm actually just going to summarize it for you too.

So, if your image is stored as a file on your Wikidot page or is a Flickr image, you can use really easy codes. Basically, adding size= followed by "small", "medium", or "large" will pull the right size of the image from Wikidot or Flickr.

For example, typing:

[[image flickr:2984243110 size="small"]]
Yields the following result:
Cannot fetch Flickr photo (id: 2984243110). The photo either does not exist, or is private

If I put:

[[image flickr:2984243110 size="medium"]]
I get a bigger picture:
Cannot fetch Flickr photo (id: 2984243110). The photo either does not exist, or is private

Also, for any site that is not Flickr or Wikidot, you can also resize pictures, but the code is a little bit different. In this case, you define the size of the picture by the number of pixels you want it to have in its width or height.

For example, I can put:

[[image http://www.pictureninja.com/pages/united-states/michigan/palmer-field-university-of-michigan.jpg width="400px"]]
I will get the following image, 400 pixels wide:
palmer-field-university-of-michigan.jpg

If I want to make it bigger, I merely up the amount of pixels:

[[image http://www.pictureninja.com/pages/united-states/michigan/palmer-field-university-of-michigan.jpg width="500px"]]
And the picture is bigger!
palmer-field-university-of-michigan.jpg

Tiny Obama Portrait

by samooresamoore (04 Nov 2008 19:49)

This story at Wired describes very tiny portraits of Barack Obama made here at the University of Michigan by John Hart.


News Search and How it Changed My Life

by Susan KennedySusan Kennedy (21 Oct 2008 13:44)

How to Get the Most out of a Search for News

I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered exactly how little I actually knew about searching for news on the web.

I figured, like most, that simply trial and error through basic Google was the only way to find what you wanted. Although I rarely was satisfied with this, it didn't occur to me that there were easy, efficient, and effective ways of not only finding information on a current topics, but on the past topics, and it was possible to learn even further with links to additional resources.

The Advantages of Using a Web Search Engine

What is awesome about using a news search over a basic general search engine is that the computer is already doing as much work as possible in order to save you time. The specialized searches have higher response time, higher relevance of retrievals, higher speed of updating new sources, and will critically evaluate the quality of the sources. Basically, the tools are out there…its just your job to take advantage.

Some of the News Search Engines

The news search engines that I explored (which are merely a small sample of many options) were Yahoo! News, Google News and Alta Vista. Although all three on the whole made my search process easier, with features such as ranking, sorting, RSS feeds, categorization, and photos, each has different strengths.

image%257B0%257D%255B4%255D.png

Google News offers tons of options for refining and improving your news search, to the point that it is borderline overwhelming and excessive (especially if you are not used to it).

Advanced Search

With Google News, it can be very helpful to use the advance search in order to sort by date, source, and price (which can be set to free).

The Time Line !!

What was probably the coolest thing I found on any of these news search engines was the time line feature of Google News. The timeline (which is located toward the top of the left hand side of the page, above the date section) allows you to see how this topic has been covered over the past X amount years, which will vary depending on how recent the topic is. The timeline can be adjusted in order to zoom on years or months, depending on your needs.

It should be noted, however, that the timeline does not always cover NEWS that reported at date X, but it is referring to significant dates that happened to be mentioned in other news articles. In order to find news that actually is about that point in time, it may involve a much complicated search.

Personalization

If you have an iGoogle account, it can be very nice to personalize your page. I personally set mine to show all top news stories as images, which makes it much more pleasing to the eyes for me. Likewise, I edited the news stories that pop so that ones that I find irrelevant (such sports — jk :) ) are not on the home page.

news_logov1.gif

Yahoo! News I found to be the most difficult to use of the three news search engines, mainly because of its interface. This is NOT to say that it doesn't have some very useful features.

Sorting

Yahoo allows you to sort during your initial query in order to specify what kind of news you would like. For example, you can get video news, audio news, photo news, or any kind of news, which is "all news."

This is cool when you want to learn about a current event but don't feel like reading a four page essay.

Links to Other Places on the Web

These are located on the right hand side of the page, after you have specified what you are looking for. This pretty cool when you want to learn more that is from a slightly different and maybe more educational angle. Already I can tell I will be able to use this for future class assignments.

Local News Papers

One thing I found extremely cool about Yahoo was that you can find political stories from local news papers. Although this is general not that useful if you are doing research for school, this can be very fun to do if you want to stay current with your hometown or want to see if you siblings are in trouble again :)

This can be found by looking in the subtopics underneath the topics that are already in the main tabs, such as "politics" and "business."

logo.gif

Easy and Strait Forward

Although Alta Vista has the least impressive interface, it was probably the simplest and most strait forward of the search engines I evaluated.

It was very convenient and easy to sort through queries based on topics, regions, and the timing of the news article.

Additionally, I appreciated the suggested search tips.

The Bottom Line

Although it seems that it would take more time than its worth to go to a news search engine, I promise it is worth it. It is a better use of your time, which you probably have little to spare, and once you get used to it you might actually like reading the news :)

I personally am not a regular news person, but since I was introduced to Google News, I have started to check the site pretty much daily. Although, I've gotta be honest, its mainly just to play around with the time line ;)


Google News Search

by (user deleted) (13 Oct 2008 16:56)

The Idea Behind News Search

Are you tired of having to watch the local news every night to find out whats happening in the world? Do you want to be able to find out what happened when it actually happens? Well that's where the numerous news search engines that exist come in, they will enable you to maximize your information and minimize your effort.

Google News Search

news.gif

Searching for news is much different than searching for information on the web. News updates so frequently that if you don't define you query correctly or use advanced search techniques, you will be left with results that aren't accurate (just ask United Airlines). The beauty of browsing sites like Google Business News is that you receive information from a variety of resources (CNN Money, BBC News, the Associated Press) and aren't just left with the biased opinion of one particular news station/website/publication. Also, a really cool feature of the Google News is the personalized option on the right side of the homepage. Rather than visiting Fox News everyday (for a more conservative point of view), you could view your customized Google News homepage to get a diverse view of news in 8 categories.

Combining RSS Feeds and News

Lets take this idea of news search one step further. Instead of visiting the Google News homepage on a daily basis to get a range of news from various categories, why don't we utilize the our RSS feeds? In my previous blog, I preached the benefits of RSS feeds and why everyone should have one. Well now I'm going to continue to praise RSS feeds with their ability to add search queries from news searches to an RSS account. For my term project, I was able to define a search query on Google News and refine the options to retrieve only results posted in the past day. Now each time new results are added to this query, the link is sent to my bloglines account. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Google Archives

050217_miracleOnIce_hmed_7p.hmedium.jpg

One of the most fascinating features of the whole "Google News" server is the ability to search news archives. You probably ask, if he has been obsessing about finding the most current information as quickly as possible, why do past news articles matter? Well the reason is because the ability to search for news articles 10, 40, or even 100 years ago adds a new element to the concept of historical research. How many times have you thought to yourself, wow I wish I was around when…. the U.S.A hockey team won the miracle on ice in the 1980 Olympics? Or how about when John F. Kennedy was assassinated? Now you can with Google News Archive Search. Google has been transforming old newspaper microfiche into amazing resources available for anyone.

wsdf7.jpg

And just to reminisce about the glory days of Michigan Football, do you remember the 1998 Rose Bowl? Well here's a picture to jolt those memories (Charles Woodson doing what he does best).

Summary

Google has revolutionized the way to find news (both current and past). Obviously, there are other news search engines (such as AltaVista, Yahoo! News, LexisNexis), but I chose to focus on Google because of their popularity and familiarity with most of the world. When doing any sort of research project, the ability to subscribe to RSS new queries is so effective its almost like cheating. Google Archive makes any interesting news article in the past now accessible at the tip of your fingers. Lastly, remember to utilize the advance search features to maximize your news and minimize your effort (and to avoid reporting false news).


What's Bnet?

by dpnickdpnick (13 Oct 2008 16:55)

One of the websites from today's class about the Deep Web was BNet. Our professor talked briefly about it, mentioning that he was relatively knew to the site, but so far he has been impressed. I decided to take a look around the site and review it for you, so enjoy!

A sample article

The first thing I thought when I loaded the website was "Wow!" The front page is beautifully organized and certainly aesthetically pleasing. The slideshow of articles in the middle of the screen all issued interesting articles: one about Pfizer, another about outsourcing, and one about managing during a recession. The latter article sounded the most interesting, and so I decided to check it out. The organization of this article was amazing! Each point the writer made was seperated by sticky notes at the top, and within each point was organized excellent as well. Reading this article was extremely interesting and easy to follow. To make it even better, there were highlights at the top of the article. Embedded in the article was a "Hot Tip", a "Big Idea", and a "Case Study", all of which provide a nice break throughout the read. I thought the case study was the best idea, because many times when I read business articles I am curious how the subject ties into the big picture of the world. Even if all the articles aren't organized this well, it is still great to know that the website has this potential. I also noticed on the side of the article was a section called "Top Rated" which listed all of the top rated articles. This could be very helpful if you are searching for a good read. As well, there was another side section called "Recommended Business Articles" that offered even more interesting articles.

logo_bnet_88x107.gif

Industries

It became obvious to me that this site has major potential, and so I investigated further. Going back to the homepage, I looked through the tabs at the top: Today, Management, Strategy, Work Life, Insight, Industries, Business Library, and Videos. Clicking each of these yields a page dedicated to that specific topic, but unfortunately I don't have time to review each one. One really cool feature is that on each of these pages, there is a "Top Rated" section that showed the top articles for the given topic. This is really nice because if you don't feel like randomly searching through the site you can look here for the most popular articles under the topic you're interested in. I decided to pick one, choosing the Industries tab.

And again: Damn! They have main pages for each major industry, so you can look at whatever interests you the most. I decided to look at the Technology industry to see what's going on there (since it's most relevant for this class). For each article, there are tags for all applicable resources. And it just so happens when I scrolled down a bit there was an article about iTunes, with the tag Apple Inc.! (my term project). I clicked it and was instantly ecstatic. This page has everything about Apple! Listed at the top are the stock price (with a button that takes you to a detailed quote of the stock), on the side I see information regarding the company's information and links to the key competitors, and finally articles about the news and analysis of the company. There are 35 articles about Apple from the past week! Are you kidding? You can sort the articles by relevance, date, and popularity to fit whatever you want. Organizing by popularity is marvelous, and I fell in love with all of the articles at the top. You can organize the articles as well by what type of content they are (Blogs, Links, Research articles, Image, Video, and News Items just to name a few). And yet, there's still more! You can organize the articles as well by Tag. Some examples include: Apple Macintosh, iTunes, iPod, stock, iPhone, and more. This is extremely helpful if you are looking to specialize your search further. Overall, there are a total of 223 pages (with 20 articles on each page) of Apple articles (= 4,460 articles). Yeah, you can bet I subscribed to this RSS feed!

Search

At this point, I didn't even need to see anymore of this site to be satisfied, but I was curious what else the site offered. Given we looked at this page in class for it's search abilities, I gave this a shot. Along with most Americans, I have been following the financial crisis to understand what is going on with America's economy (especially given that my future lies in Finance). I therefore decided to search for information about the recent $700 billion bailout plan that has been dominating the news. On the homepage, I searched for "bailout plan" under articles. Looking through the results, I am very pleased. They are all extremely relevant, exactly the kind of news I was searching for. The search feature also allows you to search the entire site, Library, Stocks, and the Dictionary. I tested each of these out and each worked sensationally. Searching GOOG (the symbol for Google) instantly brought up the stock page for GOOG, with all of the information provided by a typical stock quote page. Also, on this page there's links to the company page for Google and all kinds of articles regarding news and investing with Google. I tried the Dictionary feature by searching for security. This is a term I have been hearing very frequently in Finance class, and I was curious as to the true definition. It brought back very good business definitions and "Wiktionary definitions".

Video

I was afraid of making my blog too long, however, I felt that I had to talk atleast briefly about the Video feature. From any page, you can click the Video tab at the top. There are videos for every business area. This feature could be extremely helpful for anyone in business, whether a student or a professional. I clicked the News & Finance section, and viewed a video about the Bailout package. It was very good! While not too long, it efficiently discussed the bailout package while doing so in an entertaining fashion. And of course the most popular videos and recently added videos are listed at the bottom.

Final Review

This site has a ton to offer in all areas of business, and could be extremely useful for a business student (such as yourself). Be sure to give it a shot next time you are doing anything business related online. I have already added this site to my bookmark bar on my browser, and I can see myself reading this site every day. I extol BNET!


Politics In Search

by dylanbdylanb (13 Oct 2008 16:48)

I recently saw when browsing my RSS reader, an article about "Keating Economics" being one of the top terms on Google the day the Obama campaign released the information about McCain's connection to the Keating Five. I was a little surprised that this was one of the top terms on Google so I wondered what else the search industry was doing involving the presidential campaigns.

Trends

First I took a look at the search trends for some of the candidates. (There is also Google Election trends which breaks things down even more.)

Barack Obama

John McCain

Comparison of all four candidates

comparera4.png
McCain - blue, Obama - red, Palin - orange, Biden - green

Palin surprisingly has the largest single day of any of the candidates, which is somewhat expected because she went from an unknown (as seen by her trend line) to a VP candidate. Campaigns are having to deal with the Internet more than ever before and this is a new phenomenon. As we have studied, people go to the internet first for information. The campaigns have to do everything they can to optimize search results and make sure that potential voters find the information they want them to.

What Else?

Yahoo! has also put together a dashboard for all political information. This dashboard breaks down the top searches, top news stories and blogs, and latest polling results. This is a very good example of how companies like Yahoo and Google have so much data that they can manipulate it into little side projects like this very easily. I wouldn't be surprised if Yahoo set up some kind of dashboard during other national (and international) stories like the Olympics.

Conclusion

Search engines are playing a very large role in this years Presidential Race and I feel that this is just a reminder of the business potential of search engines because they are first and foremost big business. Politics is a huge issue in the blogosphere, on search engines, and I even saw a site that let you type in any issue and provided results from the internet about each candidates position. Sites like Politico are being started as politics only websites and it appears that Google, Yahoo, and the internet play as big of a role as anything else in this years Presidential election. Search engines are just the tip of the iceberg: YouTube, Facebook and of course internet donations are all playing a role.


Search Tool Data Analysis

by BrianHeM10BrianHeM10 (13 Oct 2008 16:38)

by Brian Hendricks (BrianHeM10BrianHeM10 in BIT330, Fall 2008)

Questions and queries

Web search engines

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications is currently the fastest growing software sector and one of the fastest growing industries in the world. I am interested in specifics reasons why this is the case. I used the web search engines to answer: "What are some of the biggest factors causing the enormous growth rates in the SaaS industry?"

For Google, Yahoo, and Windows Live, I used the query:

"software as a service" growth factors

Blog search engines

One of the most important elements to the future of the SaaS industry is the idea behind cloud computing and hosting applications "in the cloud". Currently, Amazon's Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) is opening up new frontiers for cloud computing. I used the blog search engines to find blog posts about: "What exactly is EC2?"

For Google Blog Search, Technorati, and Bloglines, I used the query:

Amazon EC2

Data that I collected

Search engine overlap data

Web search Live Google Yahoo Web
Live 70 20 10
Google 75 15
Yahoo Web 70
All 10
Blog search Technorati Google Blog Bloglines
Technorati 65 0 5
Google Blog 90 0
Bloglines 45
All 0

Search engine ranking overlap data

This table provides a measure of how much of Google's responses are reproduced by Yahoo.
GY Yahoo
Google 5 10 20
5 0 0 0
10 1 1 1
20 1 2 3
This table provides a measure of how much of Yahoo's responses are reproduced by Google.
YG Google
Yahoo 5 10 20
5 0 1 1
10 0 1 1
20 0 1 3
This table provides a measure of how much of Blogline's responses are reproduced by Google Blog Search.
BG Google
Bloglines 5 10 20
5 0 0 0
10 0 0 0
20 0 0 0
This table provides a measure of how much of Google Blog Search's responses are reproduced by Bloglines.
GB Bloglines
GBlog 5 10 20
5 0 0 0
10 0 0 0
20 0 0 0

Results

Web search

Summary Statistics

Precision Live Google Yahoo Web
Min 10 20 10
Median 42.5 57.5 52.5
Mean 42.8 54.4 51.7
Mode 15 70 70
Max 80 90 85
Results Overlap L/G L/Y G/Y L/G/Y
Min 0 5 5 0
Median 20 20 20 10
Mean 18.3 20.0 20.6 10.0
Mode 10 10 25 10
Max 35 45 35 25

The above statistics represent general statistics on the precision of results and the overlap of results between search engines. Precision measures how well the search engine returned relevant results and is a proportion of how many relevant results were returned out of how many results examined. Results overlap tracks the percentage of results in Live (L), Google (G), and Yahoo (Y) that appeared in the compared sets. For example, the average amount of results that were precise for Google was 54.4% and on average 20% of the results examined appeared in both Yahoo and Live.

Ranking Overlap (G/Y) o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,20) o(10,20) o(20,20)
Min 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Median 1 1 2 1 2 3 1 3 4
Mean 1.1 1.4 1.6 1.3 2.0 2.6 1.6 2.5 3.7
Mode 1 0 0 1 1 4 1 3 5
Max 4 4 4 4 4 5 4 5 7
Ranking Overlap (Y/G) o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,20) o(10,20) o(20,20)
Min 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Median 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 3 4
Mean 1.1 1.2 1.6 1.5 1.9 2.5 1.9 2.6 3.8
Mode 1 0 1 1 3 3 1 4 5
Max 4 4 4 4 4 5 4 5 7

The above statistics refer to the rankings overlap between Google and Yahoo. Ranking overlap measures the amount of times the first 5, 10, and 20 results of one search engine appear in the first 5, 10, and 20 results of the other search engine. For example, o(10,5) in the GY table is the number of top 10 Google results that appear in top 5 Yahoo results and o(5,20) in GY table is the number of top 5 Google results that appear in the top 20 Yahoo results.

Hypothesis Test - Is Google More Precise Than Live & Yahoo?

Null Hypothesis: Google(Precision) = Live(Precision), Alternative Hypothesis: Google(Precision) > Live (Precision)
Alpha: 5%
Sample Mean(Google): 54.4, Sample Mean(Live): 42.8, Std(Google): 20.1, Std(Live): 22.8
T-Statistic: 1.5266
P-Value: .0688
Decision: Fail to reject the Null Hypothesis
Conclusion: At the 5%, there is not enough evidence to conclude that Google's search results are more precise than Live search results.

Null Hypothesis: Google(Precision) = Yahoo(Precision), Alternative Hypothesis: Google(Precision) > Yahoo(Precision)
Alpha: 5%
Sample Mean(Google): 54.4, Sample Mean(Yahoo): 51.7, Std(Google): 20.1, Std(Yahoo): 22.4
T-Statistic: .3588
P-Value: .3611
Decision: Fail to reject the Null Hypothesis
Conclusion: At the 5%, there is not enough evidence to conclude that Google's search results are more precise than Yahoo search results.

The above tests are 2-sample hypothesis tests of means. It measures the likelihood (p-value) that the null hypothesis is true based on the observed results. Alpha is the minimum p-value needed for the null hypothesis to hold true.

Blog search

Summary Statistics

Precision Technorati Google Blog Search Bloglines
Min 5 25 20
Median 30 42.5 47.5
Mean 33.1 52.5 44.4
Mode 35 40 50
Max 85 100 75
Results Overlap T/G T/B G/B T/G/B
Min 0 0 0 0
Median 0 7.5 5 0
Mean 3.6 9.2 6.9 1.4
Mode 0 5 5 0
Max 25 25 20 10

The above statistics represent general statistics on the precision of results and the overlap of results between blog search engines. Please refer to the "Web Search" statistics for more information on the definitions of precision and overlap of results.

Ranking Overlap (G/B) o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,20) o(10,20) o(20,20)
Min 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Median 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Mean 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.8 0.7 0.8 1.1
Mode 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Max 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4
Ranking Overlap (B/G) o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,20) o(10,20) o(20,20)
Min 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Median 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Mean 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.9 1.1
Mode 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Max 1 2 3 2 2 4 2 3 4

The above statistics refer to the rankings overlap between Google Blog Search (G) and Bloglines (B). Please refer to the "Web Search" statistics for more information on the definitions of ranking overlap and how to read the table.

Hypothesis Test - Is Google Blog Search More Precise Than Technorati & Bloglines?

Null Hypothesis: Google-Blog(Precision) = Technorati(Precision), Alternative Hypothesis: Google-Blog(Precision) > Technorati(Precision)
Alpha: 5%
Sample Mean(G-Blog): 52.5, Sample Mean(Technorati): 33.1, Std(G-Blog): 22.2, Std(Technorati): 21.2
T-Statistic: 2.528
P-Value: .0085
Decision: Reject the Null Hypothesis
Conclusion: At the 5%, there is sufficient evidence to suggest Google Blog Search produces more precise results than Technorati.

Null Hypothesis: Google-Blog(Precision) = Bloglines(Precision), Alternative Hypothesis: Google-Blog(Precision) > Bloglines(Precision)
Alpha: 5%
Sample Mean(G-Blog): 52.5, Sample Mean(Bloglines): 44.4, Std(G-Blog): 22.2, Std(Bloglines): 14.3
T-Statistic: 1.2269
P-Value: .1155
Decision: Fail to reject the Null Hypothesis
Conclusion: At the 5%, there is not enough evidence to suggest Google Blog Search produces more precise results than Bloglines.

The above tests are 2-sample hypothesis tests of means. It measures the likelihood (p-value) that the null hypothesis is true based on the observed results. Alpha is the minimum p-value needed for the null hypothesis to hold true.

Discussion

Web search

Comments

The results of the Web Search overlap are not very interesting as the numbers are relatively similar across the board. It is very interesting that the average overlap between Google and Yahoo (20.6%) and the number of ranking overlaps (3.7/3.8) are slightly off. It was also intriguiging to see that the most common overlap % between Google and Yahoo was 15% higher than the overlap between Live/Google and Live/Yahoo. This means that their may be a strong relationship between Google and Yahoo's search methods and site index.

Recommendations

First, it is concerning that Live's precision was consistently lower than Google and Yahoo's and appears to have been driven up by some large numbers. Be wary of Live's ability to be return precise results; nevertheless, the hypothesis test did not conclude that Live is less precise than Google. Since the overlap of these sites was low (~20%), it is still worth the extra time to use all three sites. The more detailed your query is the more likely you will have similar results across the three search engines.

Key Learnings

I was very shocked to see that the highest overlap between Google and Yahoo was 7 out of 20. My impression was that there results are pretty the same with some slight ranking differences between the two. Also, it was surprising to see Live produce even more dissimilar results and have a consistently lower overlap with Google & Yahoo. I certainly learned to pay closer attention to the results of Google and Yahoo and consider using both when searching.

Possible Further Investigations

Based on the data, there are three additional investigations I would like to complete:

  • How does Google compare to specialized search engines?
  • What is the ranking overlap for the top 50?
  • Does the overlap always grow with each additional 5/10 results?
  • Is there always a strong correlation between the average % of overlapped and o(20,20) number? (Assuming we look at more than 20 results for overlap)
  • Does Google and Yahoo consistently have higher overlaps than Live/Yahoo and Live/Google?

Blog search

Comments

The most striking implications of all the data collected is how unrelated the results are for blog search engines. Although all three blog search engines were relatively precise, they had barely any overlap between each other. As a result, the ranking overlap was almost nonexistant. It is very interesting to note that the mean overlap for G/B was 6.9% and the highest mean overlap ranking was 1.1 results - a pretty accurate ratio. However, this also implies that in most circumstances overlap between the blog search engines occurs outside of the top 10 which is rarely accessed by users. Either each blog search engine's algorithim or data index is quite different to have on average only 1.4/20 results appear on Technorati, Google Blog Search, and Bloglines.

Recommendations

The data suggests that when searching for blog posts it is beneficial to try multiple sources as no single search engine is super-precise and the search engines do not return similar results. However, as the hypothesis test supports, Google Blog Search will generally produce more precise results than Technorati. It will also be beneficial to vary your queries based on the individual search engine's individual syntax options. For the blog search engines, we did not delve into each's advanced search options which may have improved precision and overlap results. Also, each blog search engine excelled at a particular need - Technorati was great at displaying news and consolidating information, Google Blog Search helped find relevant blog feeds, and Bloglines returned really strong individual blog posts.

Key Learnings

From this research, I discovered two new web tools (Technorati and Bloglines) and difficult it can be to use blog search engines. It is very easy to type in a query to these tools, but to really find new blogs to subscribe to or recent posts to read it can be quite a challenge. This statement is supported by the much poorer precision and overlap results of the blog search engines compared to the web search engines.

Possible Further Investigations

Based on the data, there are three additional investigations I would like to complete:

  • What is the ranking overlap between Technorati and Bloglines?
  • Are there any specific syntax changes that dramatically increase precision for each blog search engine?
  • Is the ranking overlap within blog search engines consistently that low?

Methodological Changes

The following changes to our research methodology affects both Web Search and Blog Search and can be used to create more realistic, accurate results:

  • Increase the sample size from 16 to at least 35. Once the sample size reaches 35, the distribution of results can be considered approximately normal.
  • Require that the queries for all three Web/Blog search engines are the same (adjusting for syntax differences when necessary). Some results may have been skewed by certain queries being very different.
  • Encourage more consistency between the types of queries that are entered. The results may have been affected by some queries being very specific (intitle:x inurl:y "Q" or "U") or too simple (football).
  • Establish a clear definition of "relevancy" when measuring precision and "overlap". Some results may have the same title but from a different source which may cause confusion.

Search Tool Data Analysis

by jenstanjenstan (13 Oct 2008 15:55)

by Jennifer Stanczak (jenstanjenstan in BIT330, Fall 2008)

Questions and queries

Web search engines

When I was younger I always played with Barbie dolls. I had tons of them, from Beach Barbie to Doctor Barbie. I knew that Barbies had been around for a long time, but I wondered who was the creator of the popular doll. My web search engine search will be to find the creator of the Barbie Doll.

In all three search engines, I will use the search query “Barbie doll creator.”

Blog search engines

For my search in the blog search engines, I will be looking for reviews for Google’s new web browser, Google Chrome. I don’t know anything about it so I am looking for reviews on what it does and if it is a good web browser to use.

In all three blog search engines, I will use the search query “google chrome.”

Data that I collected

Search engine overlap data

Web search Live Google Yahoo Web
Live 80 25 20
Google 45 20
Yahoo Web 75
All 10
Blog search Technorati Google Blog Bloglines
Technorati 30 5 10
Google Blog 70 10
Bloglines 55
All 5

Search engine ranking overlap data

This table provides a measure of how much of Google's responses are reproduced by Yahoo.
GY Yahoo
Google 5 10 20
5 1 2 2
10 2 3 3
20 2 4 4
This table provides a measure of how much of Yahoo's responses are reproduced by Google.
YG Google
Yahoo 5 10 20
5 1 2 2
10 2 3 4
20 2 3 4
This table provides a measure of how much of Blogline's responses are reproduced by Google Blog Search.
BG Google
Bloglines 5 10 20
5 0 0 0
10 0 1 2
20 0 1 2
This table provides a measure of how much of Google Blog Search's responses are reproduced by Bloglines.
GB Bloglines
GBlog 5 10 20
5 0 0 0
10 0 1 1
20 0 2 2

Results

Web search

Web search
Precision Overlap All
Live Google Yahoo L/G L/Y G/Y L/G/Y PrecisionGoogle - PrecisionYahoo
Mean 42.78 54.44 51.67 18.33 20 20.56 10 2.78
Median 42.5 57.5 52.5 20 20 20 10 5
Mode 15 70 70 10 10 25 10 10
Std. Dev. 22.77 20.07 22.43 9.549 11.38 7.838 7.475 14.17
N 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18

In the above table, I calculated the mean, median, mode, and standard deviations for the precision and overlap of the search engines. I also made a new column that calculated the precision of Google minus the precision of Yahoo. I chose these two search engines because they had a higher average precision than Live Search. I then used this data to perform a hypothesis test to determine if there was sufficient evidence to conclude that Google is more precise than Yahoo. My null hypothesis is ud is less than or equal to zero and the alternative hypothesis is ud is greater than zero. I chose a significance level (alpha) of .025 and calculated the t-statistic to be .83, which does not fall within the rejection region of greater than 2.110. Therefore, I fail to reject the null hypothesis. There is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the difference in average precisions of Google and Yahoo are greater than zero (no evidence to prove that Google has a higher precision).

GY YG
o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,10) o(10,20) o(20,20) o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,10) o(10,20) o(20,20)
Mean 1.0588 1.3529 1.6471 1.2941 2 2.6471 1.6471 2.4706 3.7059 1.0588 1.1765 1.6471 1.4706 1.9412 2.4706 1.8824 2.6471 3.7647
Median 1 1 2 1 2 3 1 3 4 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 3 4
Mode 1 0 0 1 1 4 1 3 5 1 0 1 1 3 3 1 4 5
Std. Dev. 1.1974 1.3201 1.4116 1.2127 1.3229 1.7299 1.2217 1.5459 2.1144 1.1974 1.2862 1.3666 1.2307 1.3906 1.5858 1.269 1.7299 2.0775
N 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17
Top 5 results in Yahoo also appearing in Google 1.6471
Results 5-10 of Yahoo also appearing in Google 2.6471 - 1.6471 = 1
Results 10-20 of Yahoo also appearing in Google 3.7059 - 2.6471 = 1.0588 ( divided by 2 to put in terms of 5 results = .5294)
Top 5 results in Google also appearing in Yahoo 1.6471
Results 5-10 of Google also appearing in Yahoo 2.4706 - 1.6471 = .8235
Results 10-20 of Google also appearing in Yahoo 3.7647 - 2.4706 = 1.2941 (divided by 2 to put in terms of 5 results = .64705)

In the above table, I calculated the mean, median, mode, and standard deviations for the overlap of rankings in Google/Yahoo and Yahoo/Google. The idea is that we are trying to determine if it's more likely that a top result (compared to a lower result) in one search engine appears in another search engine. Therefore, I then used the medians to calculate the average number of overlaps in the top 5, 5-10, and 10-20 results. I found that there is indeed more overlap in the top results compared to the lower results.

Blog search

Web search
Precision Overlap All
Technorati Google Blog Bloglines T/G T/B G/B T/G/B PrecisionGoogle Blog - PrecisionBloglines
Mean 33.06 52.5 44.44 3.611 9.167 6.944 1.389 8.06
Median 30 42.5 47.5 0 7.5 5 0 10
Mode 30 40 50 0 5 5 0 10
Std. Dev. 21.15 22.18 14.34 7.031 7.717 6.449 3.346 17.75
N 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18

In the above table, I calculated the mean, median, mode, and standard deviations for the precision and overlap of the blogsearch engines. I also made a new column that calculated the precision of Google Blog minus the precision of Bloglines. I chose these two search engines because they had a higher average precision than Technorati. I then used this data to perform a hypothesis test to determine if there was sufficient evidence to conclude that Google Blog searches are more precise than Bloglines searches. My null hypothesis is ud is less than or equal to zero and the alternative hypothesis is ud is greater than zero. I chose a significance level (alpha) of .025 and calculated the t-statistic to be 1.93, which does not fall within the rejection region of greater than 2.110. Therefore, I fail to reject the null hypothesis. There is insufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the difference in average precisions of Google Blog and Bloglines are greater than zero (no evidence to prove that Google Blog has a higher precision).

GB BG
o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,10) o(10,20) o(20,20) o(5,5) o(10,5) o(20,5) o(5,10) o(10,10) o(20,10) o(5,10) o(10,20) o(20,20)
Mean 0.2941 0.3529 0.4706 0.4118 0.4706 0.8235 0.7059 0.7647 1.0588 0.2941 0.3529 0.5882 0.4118 0.5294 0.8235 0.5294 0.8824 1.1176
Median 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Mode 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Std. Dev. 0.4697 0.6063 0.6243 0.6183 0.7174 1.0146 0.9196 1.0914 1.1974 0.4697 0.6063 0.8703 0.6183 0.7174 1.0744 0.6243 0.9926 1.1663
N 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17
Top 5 results in Bloglines also appearing in Google Blog .4706
Results 5-10 of Bloglines also appearing in Google Blog .8235 - .4706 = .3529
Results 10-20 of Bloglines also appearing in Google Blog 1.0588 - .8235 = .2353 ( divided by 2 to put in terms of 5 results = .11765)
Top 5 results in Google Blog also appearing in Bloglines .5882
Results 5-10 of Google Blog also appearing in Bloglines .8235 - .5882 = .2353
Results 10-20 of Google Blog also appearing in Bloglines 1.1176 - .8235 = .2941 (divided by 2 to put in terms of 5 results = .14705)

In the above table, I calculated the mean, median, mode, and standard deviations for the overlap of rankings in Google Blog/Bloglines and Bloglines/Google Blog. The idea is that we are trying to determine if it's more likely that a top result (compared to a lower result) in one search engine appears in another search engine. Therefore, I then used the medians to calculate the average number of overlaps in the top 5, 5-10, and 10-20 results. I found that there is indeed more overlap in the top results compared to the lower results.

Discussion

Web search

Based on the data sets, I can conclude that not one search engine is more accurate than another. I showed this in my hypothesis test to determine if Google searches were more precise than Yahoo. There was no statistical evidence to prove that they were. The top results in each of them were more likely to contain results from the other search. Therefore, when performing a search and only looking at the top few results, you are essentially getting a lot of the same results no matter what search engine you use. I recommend that if a person is searching for information they use the search engines interchangably for the most part. I would not recommend doing the same search in all three for time saving purposes because there is not that much of a difference in results or precision. If further investigation was done on this topic, I would recommend that you use a bigger sample size. The small samples used here do not provide a good representation of the true data and make statistical analysis more difficult when the sample is not large enough to assume normality.

Blog search

Based on the data sets, I can conclude that not one blog search engine is more accurate than another. I showed this in my hypothesis test to determine if Google Blog searches were more precise than Bloglines. There was no statistical evidence to prove that they were. The top results in each of them were more likely to contain results from the other search. Therefore, if you only look at the top results, you will get some of the same results across the two search engines. However, because the overlap was so low, I would recommend searching for a query in all of them if time allows. If further investigation was done on this topic, I would recommend a few changes in the methods and approach. First of all, I would use bigger samples. The small samples used here do not provide a good representation of the true data. Also, I would revise my query because searching for a term that specifically relates to the search engine such as "Google Chrome" in the Google Blog search engine could distort results somewhat.


"Blog Search Fight"

by dylanbdylanb (09 Oct 2008 13:46)

I saw this blog entry today when I was reading Bloglines and thought I would pass it along here.

The article compares Google Blogs to Technorati and a new blog search called Iterend. Their results are interesting because they differ in a lot of ways than most of ours.


Yahoo! News vs Google News

by roopakroopak (08 Oct 2008 19:19)

In my last post, I talked about how amazing I think RSS is. This post is about how to apply the usefulness of RSS to news search engines. I decided to compare Yahoo! News and Google News because these are the two news search engines I plan to use the most in my research about oil consumption.

YahooNewsLogo-large.jpg
google_news_logo.gif

The competition

I looked at the results from both Yahoo! News and Google News for the query "oil consumption" (including the quotes) for the last day and for the last week. I felt that looking at the last week would give me a good overall view of how relevant recent results from each search engine would be to my project. I looked at the last day to get an idea of how many relevant results I would receive daily in my RSS feed using this query.

For the last week, I looked at the first 20 results of each sorted by relevance. Here are my results expressed in percentages:

Last week
Yahoo! News Google News
Yahoo! News 35 10
Google News 30

As you can see above, the results from Yahoo! News were slightly more relevant than the results from Google News. The 10% shown at the intersection of Yahoo! News and Google News is the percentage of results that were BOTH relevant and overlapping. This was to give me a gauge of how many of the results that I would consider useful were actually appearing on both. It is clear that a lot can be gained from using both news searches as opposed to one.

For the last day, I looked at all of the results since there were fewer than 20. I recorded my results below using the actual number of results:

Total results from Yahoo! News: 11
Total results from Google News: 15

Last day
Yahoo! News Google News
Yahoo! News 4 3
Google News 4

It appears from these results that on a daily basis, Yahoo! News and Google News will give me about the same number of relevant sources in my RSS feed. A few more days would have to be looked at to draw a strong conclusion about this, but looking at the last day should give us a decent idea. The 3 shown at the intersection of Yahoo! News and Google News is the percentage of results that were BOTH relevant and overlapping. It can be seen easily that on a daily basis most of the relevant results from Yahoo! News and Google News are the same. If I had an RSS feed of these results, I would only get one additional relevant source from looking at both as opposed to one. Obviously, once again a few more days would have to be looked at before drawing a strong conclusion on this.

The conclusion

The important thing I have taken away from this for my project is that by having RSS feeds from both Yahoo! News and Google News using the query "oil consumption," I will get at least a handful of results that will keep me updated with relevant news about oil consumption.

As for my personal use, the combination of these tools has given me an even better way to prepare for interviews in the coming months than RSS alone. In my previous post, I mentioned that RSS gave me what I took BIT 330 for. The use of news searches with it will help enormously in preparing for interviews, because it will deliver the daily news about the companies I am interested in right to my RSS reader. Here's a list of some of the daily searches I plan to subscribe to that could help get you started:

Company Yahoo! News Google News
Goldman Sachs Y G
Morgan Stanley Y G
Deutsche Bank Y G
Citi Y G
BOA Y G

Subscribe to RSS feeds for each company you're interested in to keep you up-to-date and prepared!


RSS Feeds

by (user deleted) (08 Oct 2008 16:56)

I will introduce the idea behind RSS feeds and why it should matter to you.

RSS Feeds

google_reader_logo.jpg

RSS feeds are basically a tool used to track frequently update information. The beauty of RSS feeds is the ability to have all the information delivered to one convenient site. I was exposed to RSS feeds in BIT 200 and to be honest, was not very impressed. I found that if I forgot to check my account for a few days, I'd have over 400 new feeds and not even know where to start. Granted, I was using Google Reader as opposed to my current site, Bloglines, but still, the idea just seemed to be ineffective.

rss-icon.png

Fast forward one year to BIT 330 and its a whole different story. I have learned to search sites specifically for Blogs and RSS feeds, as opposed to an RSS post, which may not be relevant to me. Last year I would go to my favorite site and look for the little orange RSS square and add the feed to my Google Reader. The problem with this is that I choose sites like ESPN and Wall Street Journal and simply choose the RSS feed for the top headlines (think how many times these sites update a day?). This time around, I began to get feeds on specific topics I'm interested in or from author's opinions I actually value, rather than entire websites. I've started using Bloglines, Google Blog, and Technorati to search for blog feeds specific to my interested topic. Although I enjoy keeping up with the most recent news articles, I think subscribing to individual blogs may be more effective. Moreover, I've explored Yahoo! Directory to get updates on certain certain categories.

hpBLLogo.png

An interesting quirk some blog sites offer is the ability to view recent trends for that search. Blogpulse, in particular, offers a nice trend graph. This feature is cool, but not sure how applicable it is. I guess it may be neat to know when certain searches became popular and observe the trend line. Additionally, Blogs.com offers a fun feature that allows you to view the "Top Ten _____ Blogs". For someone who enjoys getting distracted and jumping from site to site aimlessly on the internet (but never in BIT 330), I thought this was a cool feature that could definitely waste 30 minutes when studying at the library.

So what does all this mean? RSS feeds are just another resource the internet offers and one that I would recommend to anyone. Regardless of how frequently you would use it, or what you would use it for, RSS feeds provide information to people in ways you would have never imagined 10 years ago and will continue to innovate in the information retrieval industry.


Bloglines and Google Reader

by Eric BrackmannEric Brackmann (08 Oct 2008 16:56)

So, I've had a few days to play with both Bloglines and Google Reader and decided to compare the two services…

Function

To be honest, both services perform the same function. They pull the information I'm looking for from across the web and deliver it in one convenient place. They also have many of the same features (recommendations, search, import/export…). From a function stand point, it’s a tie.

Look

I’ll say it – Google just looks better. It has a pleasing, modern layout and color scheme. Bloglines, on the other hand, looks like it hasn’t seen a major design update in the last ten years. Its color scheme and multi-fame layout scream 1997. The look points are defiantly Goggle’s.

Set-up & Everyday Use

Once again, Google Reader wins major points. I’m not saying that set-up at Bloglines wasn’t easy, but the fact that I already use Google’s services means that my Google Reader account was up and running in one click. Additionally, because I use Gmail, I log into my Google account at every computer I use and can surf effortlessly between my mail, documents and reader. Having to login to Bloglines takes too much effort…

Extra Credit

Well, as if this wasn’t already a one sided battle, Google also wins bonus points for its recommended feeds. Not only did it recommend feeds that relate to the feeds I imported for my project (Alternative Energy in the US), it also found feeds that interest me - business and local news feeds. It’s kind of scary to know that Google is watching my every internet move, but kind of cool to see how amazingly accurate their recommendations are.

And the winner is…

Well, let me total up the points, yep, Google Reader wins. I couldn’t really even give Bloglines some pity points, unless you consider the function tie to be worth a point. The most important lesson from this exercise, Google cannot be beat.

A quick follow up…

I felt so bad for Bloglines that I searched around to see if they were planning any updates and found Bloglines Beta, an updated Bloglines platform. I logged in and then it crashed. Awesome.


RSS strikes oil!

by roopakroopak (08 Oct 2008 16:47)

This post was truly inspired by RSS. It has shown me that everything might be ok. I know this sounds odd, but read on.

Introduction

google-reader-logo.JPG

To be honest, after BIT 200, I was not very impressed with RSS. We were required to use Google Reader for a period of time as an assignment, so I just clicked on popular feeds like The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and whatever else seemed news-related. I thought of it as a way for me to get the news items for newspapers that I SHOULD read but never actually do. What happened? Well, I never read these feeds on Google Reader either. There were thousands of news items piling up that were about hundreds of topics. I wasn't really interested in any of it but felt obligated to get a feed for something that sounded intellectual for the class.

The main reason I initially decided to take BIT330 was so that I can easily get large amounts of specific information about companies when interviewing time comes around. I found the classes on Search Techniques and Web Directories somewhat interesting and saw myself using the information in the future, but they didn't give me exactly what I took the class for. I thought the classes on RSS would potentially give me this, but was apprehensive after considering the thousands of unfiltered news items that were in my Google Reader from BIT 200.

The search for oil

Two things separated this experience with RSS from my last one:
* Search techniques
* Subscribing to search results

For my term project, I am giving detailed background and following the news on oil consumption. This does not mean watching oil prices! This means monitoring how consumption is affected and keeping up-to-date with plans to remedy the oil shortage.

I started out as indicated in the RSS Lab Exercises by searching in Bloglines. I naively submitted the query: oil consumption. Go figure, 83,300 posts! Even of the first five, not too many looked very useful. This was more than mildly discouraging. I thought about it for a second and then went with: intitle:'oil consumption'. This came out a bit better, but I felt like the results were still not relevant enough. Finally, my perfect query hit me: intitle:'oil consumption' -prices. There it was!

bloglines_home_1.gif

Within the descriptions of my first six results, there was:

  • "World Crude Oil Consumption by Geographic Region"
  • "Oil Consumption by state"
  • "reduction in oil consumption will increase the inelasticity of remaining demand…"

My search had given me all kinds of background information on my topic and it seemed as if the results were tailored for me! After looking at the next step in the exercises, I subscribed to this search.

The spoils

I am not a tech-savvy person and BIT 330 has been a bit outside of my comfort level so far. It took me a LONG time to figure out how to navigate all around the Wikidot course website and I am very slowly becoming comfortable with formatting within Wikidot. This experience showed me that the term project, which had previously seemed quite overwhelming, might not be quite so overwhelming. If I can have multiple feeds from various sources with search results tailored to my project, I should easily have enough information to develop a good term project (in theory).

man-sitting-clip-art-silhouette.jpg

Beyond the project, this experience gave me what I came to this class for. It gave me an easy way to get large amounts of specific information about companies. This is something I know I will use well after I leave this class and may very well help me land a job!


The Captain

by dpnickdpnick (08 Oct 2008 15:52)

My entire life, I have always loved hockey. Growing up, I played both roller and ice hockey and I was a member of my high school varsity team. It is easy to love a sport like hockey when you grow up watching the Detroit Red Wings. During my teen years, they won three Stanley Cups in a period of six years (1997, 1998, 2002) and have been the most dominant team in the NHL for the last two decades. However, it was not always so. 1967-1982 was known as the "Dead Era" when the Red Wings only made the playoffs twice.

However, after drafting Steve Yzerman in 1983, the Detroit Red Wings quickly became the most skilled team in hockey. They were so powerful that the city of Detroit acquired the nickname "Hockeytown". The Red Wings have now been to the playoffs 17 years in a row, the longest current streak of post-season appearances in all of American professional sports! Even after his retirment, the Red Wings are still on top of the league after winning the Stanley Cup last year. Aside from all the records he holds, Stevie will forever be known as "the Captain" because he ushered in an era of unparalleled success and "retired as the longest-serving captain of any team in North American major league sports history."

AltaVista Search

In my last blog, I overcame an article discussing Steve Yzerman potentially leaving the Red Wings. This article was really short (only a few paragraphs) and didn't reveal much, so I decided to search for more news about it. I decided I would first try AltaVista, a site which I had never heard about . My initial search brought back 37 search results. I was afraid to be too specific in my search, in fear that I might miss a useful source. To specify my search further, I sorted the results "by date" (since the initial site that led me to this topic was very recent) and in the top five I found one site that answered my search, and it was exactly what I was looking for.

t1_yzermantrophy.jpg

Here is a tribute video to Steve Yzerman, the greatest captain to ever live.

Google News Archive

All of this got me interested in going back and looking up more info about Stevey. I used Google News Archive to search for past articles about Steve Yzerman. The bars represent the number of articles/sources online that correspond to that year. Looking at the bars and the headlines listed below, we can see a timeline of his life! Starting in 1965 when he was born, to 1983 when he joined the NHL to his post-retirement life, we can follow each year! I decided to specialize my search between the years when he started playing (1983) and the year he retired (2006). One interesting thing to note is that there were virtually no articles about him in 1982 (the year before he joined the Red Wings). His most hits came in 2002 (his last Stanley Cup) and 2004 (when he obtained a very serious eye injury in the post-season, forcing him to sit out a series against Calgary that the Red Wings went on to lose).

Analyzing 2002 more closely, we can see that the majority of articles came in May and June (when the Red Wings were in the post-season). It's interesting how there are still a ton of articles between October and April during the regular season. This is because the Detroit Red Wings had a record-breaking year. "With so much talent on one team, including the first time three 500-goal scorers were on the same team, they quickly got off to a great start, winning 22 of their first 27 games. They finished with 116 points and the best record in the NHL."

1556640051_72e59f52ff_o.jpg

The amazingly high number of articles in 2002 (compared to Steve's other Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998) are most likely because of the Red Wings amazing post-season. They dominated every series except their Western Conference Final against the Colorado Avalanche. At this time, the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry was the best in sports (parallel with Michigan-Ohio State). Tied 3-3 going into a highly anticipated game 7, every single sports fan was on the edge of their seats. And the Red Wings did not disappoint, dominating the Avalanche 7-0! I will remember this game for the rest of my life, as one of the most fulfilling and happy moments of my life. Not only did we win, we absolutely crushed them. I decided again to use Google News Archive to find an article reviewing this game, just so you can see for yourself the magnitude! "Perhaps it was fitting that a series considered one of the best in NHL history should end with a spectacular fireworks display."

As you can see, using these resources I was able to compile memories and facts that were very useful. I was able to create a timeline of Steve's life and follow all of his accomplishments. Imagine how many different purposes this could serve! Before learning of these resources, it would have taken me hours to find all this information! Check it out for yourself!


Searching For Apple News Feeds

by dpnickdpnick (08 Oct 2008 15:51)

In order to accurately follow Apple Inc. for my term project, I need to track a lot of information. Apple is a gossip machine, churning out tons of rumors and reports weekly. Therefore, RSS feeds are crucial for me to be able to follow all of this meanwhile maintaining my sanity. I spent some time exploring different searchable subject indices of RSS feeds, and here's what I found:

Syndic8

I did not like Syndic8. It had 106 sources for Technology, which at first seemed promising. It further divided this category into Hardware and Software, making it somewhat difficult for my search because Apple specializes in both of these fields. After searching through both sections, I did not find any useful information. There was one Mac feed under Software, but I did not use it because it was not applicable for my project. While Syndic8 was not useful for my search, I could see it being useful for others. After surveying the site under the DMOZ tab for a little while, I found an awesome site about my favorite sports team, the Detroit Red Wings. This was actually rather depressing because the main story is one discussing Yzerman potentially leaving Detroit (a very disturbing thought).

smiley-face.gif

NewsIsFree

The only thing I can say is: NewsIsFree is awesome! It provided me with 242 sources discussing Apple. Not only did it supply me with a plethora of websites, but it was very easy to navigate. I had to stop myself after only a short while because most of the feeds it provided me with were useful. I added 12 feeds from this site to my Bloglines account. I was elated after going through NewsIsFree, because I knew that these RSS feeds would make my life so much easier. I would highly recommend starting your search using NewsIsFree!

Yahoo! Search Directory

While I was already content from my success with NewsIsFree, I wanted to check out Yahoo! Search Directory. It is very good as well! After a little bit of searching, I found 72 feeds regarding Mac news. Many of the news feeds I found in the Yahoo! Search Directory are the same as those I added from NewsIsFree. I also found one site called Macnn.com which is extremely cool. It is my favorite website so far!

Overall, I give two thumbs up to these sites. Adding these RSS Feeds will save me a lot of valuable time. I would definitely give all three sites (Syndic8, NewsIsFree, and Yahoo! Search Directory) a shot for your next research project, or even for fun. Also, try the RSS Network Site, it can't hurt. It's amazing how many resources there are that I never knew about before, and I hope you can take advantage of this as well. Enjoy!


News Search

by dylanbdylanb (08 Oct 2008 15:46)

The purpose of news search tools is slightly different than the purpose of normal search engines. In a typical web search the user is probably looking for the most accurate content that is precise to their search. With news search, I feel that it might be worth it to lose some precision in the search to insure the latest updates as they happen. All too often news that is only hours or even minutes old is not relevant anymore. The normal means for a search engine (robot every x hours) just doesn't work for news. In a sense the way I think of Google (and other) News Searches is that they are large RSS mashups from the most trusted news source. Even if an iReport on CNN.com can still cause waves in the stock market.

A random idea of how much the internet has grown today, including news forms is Google's 10th anniversary search tool that lets you do a 2001 Google search. To compare to one of the huge issues today, a search for this years presidential candidates brings up 158,000 results for John McCain, 671 for Barack Obama, and 0 for Sarah Palin.

In our exercises we looked mostly at Yahoo, Google, and Altavista tools, I found that I like Yahoo for basic news the best because it is in a format that is easy to read when looking for general news. It's just like browsing an online newspaper, I think Google's interface is too hectic and spread out. Yahoo News also does a better job with media (photos and videos) which I think is important for people looking for the latest and greatest content as well.

One aspect of the Google News Search that I love though is the timeline. Interestingly Google just added the timeline feature to their revamped Google Blogs search. At some point I wouldn't be surprised to see Google Blogs and Google News integrate some how, this is the direction the internet is going with the power of new media. With Google starting to establish an authority system like Technorati (who must be nervous about Google's changes) the information that can be gained in the blogosphere is very complimentary to the news search. Why not have an opinions from the blogosphere link under each story?

Overall I think I will focus mostly on Google News for specific searches and Yahoo News for broad searches but I am most excited about the upcoming lecture about news alerts because I have just started using Google Alerts and they are great for getting news and information ASAP (from web, news, blogs and all searches).

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