WEEK FOUR – Lecture


This week, there will not be any homework – instead, I will hand out a take-home quiz. I expect you to complete the quiz and email the answers to me at birdesq@ix.netcom.com.  Please note, that at the bottom of your quiz I have listed an Internet site which I hope will help you while you are considering your end-of-the-term presentation.


I am going to go around the room and ask for a brief description of the topic you have chosen for your presentation.




Tonight we will compare search engines, directories, meta-engines, spiders, indexes, and virtual libraries.


As we discussed the first week, the Web is a section of the Internet through which you can send e-mails, hear music, and watch animations. Anyone can use, or misuse, the Web.


What this means to you is that when you locate what you feel is a “terrific” site, with earth-shattering information – take a deep breath – and think about what you are reading, and try to analyze the source of the information.


You’ll find hints – such as: a “designed by” or year, or corporation’s name at the bottom of the page. Reread the page to see if what you are reading is really informative or is an advertisement – is it advocating a certain political, religious, or legal position? Look at the construction of the URL.


Just as you would not believe the news-worthiness of every headline in newspapers you read while on a check-out line – don’t be naive when reading a Web page – even if it has beautiful graphics – it still may not be giving to the whole truth.


Later in the course, we will conduct some exercises where we will evaluate some Web pages, but, for now – let’s talk about just finding the pages you will need for your class project. – REMEMBER – finding is not evaluating!!!


Some Searching Tips and Tricks


 Use Synonyms, Homonyms, and misspelled words


 Keep in mind that the computer only knows what you type, not what you are thinking:


            Bat - can mean either baseball bat or the furry rodent

            Car and Automobile mean generally the same thing

            Different areas in the United States (and in the world) use a variety of terms to describe things. For example, In

England the word Holiday is used instead of Vacation, and lift instead of elevator; a sandwich could be a hero or

a sub, some say soda – others say pop. 


 Case Sensitivity


 Most search engines are case sensitive:


If you search for cars - most Search Tools will look for cars, Cars, CARS




If you capitalize the first letter, most Search Tools will look for Cars, CARS, but won't look for words


If you search for CARS - most Search Tools will look for CARS and not look for cars or Cars


This can be very helpful when you're searching for proper nouns such as: Washington Senators, United Nations, etc.


DIRECTORIES: Anyone can design and maintain a directory. List of categories that you have to “drill” through. The categories become more and more narrow as you continue to drill.


INDEXES: Most often are designed and maintained by librarians. Indexes give the most reliable information.


BOOKMARKING SEARCH RESULTS: If you do a search and it brings you back results that you like – bookmark the results. Then, if you have to do the search again, or if you can’t finish going through the results, you can go back to where you left off.