Thursday, February 05, 2009

Information Literacy

Today I took an "Information Literacy" course through work (1/2 day). Okay, I'm sure you're asking me what the heck Information Literacy is (well, except for Weeza, who should know). Basically, it's learning how to find what you're looking for online, through the use of search engines and search strategies. I learned some very interesting facts . . .

I always thought that Google was the search engine to use. Turns out that they just have really fabulous marketing strategies, and so they have good market penetration. Everybody knows and uses Google. Despite this, they only cover roughly 10% of the content of the internet. There are other engines that are more thorough.

Metacrawlers, such as Momma (http://www.momma.com) and Dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com) actually search several engines at once, so they tend to return more results. I like dogpile . . . for obvious reasons ;)

There are some search engines, such as Northern Light (http://www.nlsearch.com) that are topic-specific. Northern Light is geared towards business documents (contracts, HR stuff, etc). Google Finance is fairly self-explanatory too.

There are some old standbys . . . Yahoo, MSN, Windows Live and AltaVista. There are some cool newcomers too. I bet if you put "search engine" into Google, you'd find some of them.

Anyhow, it was a very useful session, and I learned a lot.

3 comments:

Visichy said...

I was introduced to dogpile when I was in university but have stopped using it in recent years. Thanks for reminding me that it still exists :)

Brenda said...

wow! I just tried dogpile and it does give more hits! I have always used google cause it was easy to remember

Weeza said...

Much as I like to think I'm an info literacy expert, I had forgotten about the meta search engines. Thanks for the reminder! I'll start using them again now. I had gotten so addicted to Google!