Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Sunday, August 31, 2003
(searching) The Invisible Web  
Currently reading The Invisible Web, Chris Sherman and Gary Price's book about finding information that is inaccessible to conventional search engines. See for background to the book, as well as a directory of information sources in the invisible web. Definitely worth the time, it explains how the net and the web work, and why some forms of information are more easily retrieved through search engines than others (non-HTML files, and information in dynamic databases, are especially hard to retrieve for various reasons. Read the book).

It all counteracts this article from CNN quite nicely. It's not a new article (late June) but I've only just noticed it. The key quote:

"Says Alan Cohen, a V.P. of Airespace, a new Wi-Fi provider: "If I can operate Google, I can find anything. And with wireless, it means I will be able to find anything, anywhere, anytime. Which is why I say that Google, combined with Wi-Fi, is a little bit like God. God is wireless, God is everywhere and God sees and knows everything."

Anything, Alan? Here's what Marylaine Block says about what's not on the net. By her estimate, the internet contains approx 12% of the world's accumulated store of knowledge. Which doesn't even allow for the fact that Google et al only index a fraction of what's online, anyway.

I'm giving a presentation at work in a few months on information sources. I'll definitely be drawing on Chris and Gary's book for inspiration.

Of course, the irony of this post is that I couldn't remember the URLs for either Invisible-Web or Ex-Libris. Guess how I found them? (If you said Google, you were right - and the links I wanted were in the top one or two results of my basic Google search).


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