Guess What? Traditional Search Engine Reviews are Flawed! What Does That Say About the Engine?

Live Search Mobile
Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

Fascinating post by Louis Gray, over louisgray.com, one of my favorite blogs about all things Web and social media-related. Apparently, Microsoft hosted a get-together Tuesday evening about semantic search engine Powerset and its incorporation into Microsoft’s Live Search. One of the topics discussed was how search engine reviewers perform their “craft” and how ineffective their process really is in gleaning an understanding of this complex endeavor. And the effect of this inefficient review might be to sink the better option.

This result seems particularly true as search engines become more complex in design and practice. To truly understand how effective a search engine might be, one needs to spend some time with the engine, put it through its paces and delve deep into the results. “Teaching” search engines to “think” like humans takes time, and recognizing when the engine “gets it right” should also take time.

As I have said before here, when search engine’s compete to grab out attention, we the researchers stand to win the grand prize. In Louis Gray’s words, for Microsoft, “building the better mousetrap” will only be half the battle in the war of the ‘engines. Can’t wait to see the “results.”

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More Free And Easy on The Web: Federal Regulations and Statutes

Ross-Blakely Law Library Blog traverses some familiar territory with its list of sites for free federal information, but it never hurts to review. Check out the eCFR from the GPO and the U.S.Code over at Cornell Law. KaPOW! Take that, Westlaw and Lexis!

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Free Law Journals On-Line (Especially for Those in Wisconsin)


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Bonnie Schucha, head reference librarian for the University of Wisconsin Law School, has a short post at the WisBar.org InsideTrack column about finding journal articles on-line. Some require a Wisconsin State Law Library card or are targeted at Wisconsin resources, but check out Current Law Journal Content and Google Scholar. And while the resources tend to only show indexes, you can secure full articles directly from libraries for a modest fee.

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