I heart google, but...

...it isn't the end all and be all.

The search engine is easy, especially with the search tool right there in my browser, and the other products makes my life easier. I use Google Reader to keep track of blogs, Google Docs to keep everything in one place (for work and for home), Google Maps for the most reliable online directions, Picasa for pics and Blogger for blogging (both owned by Google) and Google Alerts to keep track of my library in the news. (And *that* has been pretty active lately). I mean, I use just about everything Google has to offer with only one user name and password. (Except their silly social networking thing. puh-leeeeeeze. srsly.)

Wayne Curtis wrote that "the Internet is great for finding the needle in the haystack. But it's not so good at finding the haystack - at culling infinite possibilities into a manageable list of options." He was writing about using the Internet as the only travel resource, but this thought definitely applies for other Internet searches as well. And that is what Google does well, in my opinion.

A lot of times, when people come to the information desk at the library, they have done the basic searches on Google. They have found a bunch of needles, but they were actually in search of a haystack.

Some other favorite search engines that help identify "the haystack," without getting to library school assignmenty.

Exalead indexes sites (acquired with the use of robots and user submissions) from the Internet. While not perfect, there results are organized very nicely. The suggested search terms, while a feature not unique to Exalead, can be quite helpful, along with their division of results into site type (blog, forum, commercial, non-commercial...).

A metasearch engine based on the technology from Vivisimo (founded by Carnegie Mellon scientists) that 'clusters' results. I like that the results are sorted by keywords, sources and domain making it easier to evaluate sites quickly.

Another metasearch engine that sorts results into pretty smart categories. Plus I like that the pages you click on automatically open in a new tab, and that it includes an mp3 search.

Okay, I wouldn't use this at work. It couples your search terms with random words resulting in sites that you wouldn't find otherwise, and it is a fun way to browse the Internet.

That's just a few... and this is a reminder for myself as much as anything to use a variety of sources.

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