06 Web Directories

Before class stuff

Advice for Assignment due 9/29

  • Do it in pieces, look at it today, then again tomorrow and so on.
  • There isn't really a "right" answer, only what the data says. Prof doesn't even know!
  • There are two different things here:
    • What the data says, statistically.
    • What the data means, practically

Term Project

  • Talk to Professor Moore about your topic, which is due next week 9/29
  • It would be ill-advised to turn it in without doing so
  • The more interested you are in your topic, the more rewarding the project will be. Both in terms of information and grade!
  • Everything we do in class, you will probably find it useful to at least try it in doing your research
    • Whether or not you actually find something interesting, DOCUMENT IT. You are trying to educate someone on how to do your job. It is useful to know that something is not useful.
  • Two parts to the project
    • What is the situation right now. The background information
    • How to find information. Give your replacement the tools they need to stay up to date on the topic.
  • The exercises may be helpful in helping you pick a topic by taking a cursory glance at what is out there about a potential topic.

Industry Updates

  • Google updates can be found here


Today in class what we talked about the "Use Others" branch in the what this class is about diagram.

Up until now we have been looking for specific pages people have put up on the net ourselves. What we haven't considered is this question: How can we use the intelligence of others to help us find important information.

Web Directory

A categorized set of resources.
It is a big tree of information.

Start with a very broad topic (Business and Economy) and then continue to pick sub topics, or branches, getting more and more specific until someone else says are good sites.
Enter the topic that you are interested in, and the search results will be the different categories that are most pertinent to your search.

TERM PROJECT INFO BIT If you are just starting to do research on a topic, the Directories are a great place to start. They have already done the work for you! Someone else has already gone through and picked out the most pertinent sites that could be the most helpful to you.

How it Works

  1. First an author writes a document
  2. Then, for our purposes, we assume that he saves it electronically and posts it to the internet.
  3. The author writes a summary of his page and submits it to the directory page to be reviewed
  4. The summary is reviewed (and accepted) then it gets categorized and placed in the directory at the end of a branch.

Independent of this, regular search engines will probably spider your page in their traversing of the internet.


Why Use a Directory

  • Ease of use
    • How easy can I get to the information that I am looking for?
  • People get involved
    • The author has to write a summary and submit it to the directory
    • Someone at the directory has to review said summary before it goes up, presumably keeping out bad sites and useless information
  • Start a new search
    • If you are not looking for a specific piece of information, starting in a web directory category can give you an idea of what specific information you may want

What directories are out there?

  • dir.yahoo.com
  • dmoz
    • A sort of 'open source' directory. Run by people for people. Think of it as a cross between wikipedia and a directory

How Effective is it?

Refer back to the class schedule notes for some good examples on how using a directory instead of a regular search engine can narrow your search immediately.

Other Sources

Groups and Mailing lists

  • Groups
    • Mostly for getting questions answered. Not necessarily for research purposes.
    • Less for finding information, than for getting information. Can't find an answer you are looking for? Find a related group and post your question, there's a good chance that someone will give you the answer you were looking for.
    • Not usefully searchable, your question may be in one thread and your answer in a completely different.
    • How it works:
    • Someone comes up with an idea and names a group
    • The group is hosted somewhere.
    • This group gets indexed on a group directory
    • Someone writes a message to the group
    • If it is just a group, the message will just be posted on that site. If it is also a mailing list, then every member of the group will receive an email with the message as well.
    • Again, in addition to being on the group directory it will also be scanned by search engine spiders.

This is how it works:



Glossary of terms for specific subjects that may have their own lingo. Again, see the schedule notes for examples of where to find them.

This is exactly what you think it is.

Assembled Pages of Links

Some people out there have assembled their resources on a topic. There are examples of how to find these in the schedule notes.

This tends to be sort of a grab bag of things that may or may not be helpful. Probably most useful if you happen to hit a dead end.

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