I follow what Mary Ellen Bates has to say fairly closely—I read her blog, listen to her presentations, and chat with her as a friend. But I still manage to pick up new search tips from her popular conference sessions. You can see the list of what she covered today in the slides in the collected presentations volume—they will also be posted to the conference site and at BatesInfo.com/il2008.html.
She gave several interesting examples of how some Google tools could be useful—ones I’d known about but hadn’t really had a chance to test much. The Google Translated Search feature (google.com/translate_s) “really expands our ability to search” beyond English content. Google Trends (google.com/trends) charts the frequency of words searched and words in the news, providing insight into when news “peaked” and checking for “buzz.” She showed several Yahoo! tools, such as SearchAssist and Glue, which have great potential. The problem is that Yahoo! has these “hiding in plain sight”—they don’t do well telling users about them. And, as usual, she managed to turn up some alternate search tools that I haven’t tried. The Loki.com toolbar helps you find location-dependent content. Very cool—it lets her find a Starbucks when she’s traveling and is so jet-lagged she doesn’t remember where she is!
Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, Information Today, Inc.