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Preview: Phil Bradley's weblog

Phil Bradley's weblog



Where librarians and the internet meet: internet searching, Social Media tools, search engines and their development. These are my personal views.



Last Build Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:21:46 +0000

 



Gluten free product search engine

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:21:46 +0000

It's not until you find out that you can't eat gluten, or that you have a friend in this situation that you realise what a difficult life it can be. There's gluten in a huge range of things, including plenty that you probably wouldn't consider which means constant checking of labels, since even a very small amount can have terrible consequences if eaten. The Gluten Project aims to make life a little easier for people with this condition. Their search engine has a database of 35,000 gluten free products as certified by the American Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). That's the...



My library related Twitter lists

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 13:42:57 +0000

Twitter lists are a really powerful tool, but one that lots of people don't seem to know about. Basically you can add an account to a list that you create. You don't need to follow the person, but it's really easy to just add people when they start following you. Start off by going to https://twitter.com/your_name/followers and you'll see a list of people that are following you. Each person will be in their own little box with a 'Follow' option and next to that, 3 vertical dots. You can choose to follow the person (obviously) and you can also click...



ClearScore - not so hot when it comes to privacy

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 13:35:36 +0000

I was slightly surprised to get an email from ClearScore recently. They are the company that can tell you what your credit score is, so their database contains highly confidential and personal information about you and your financial details. I didn't think that I'd signed up with them, but clicked on the link, and then clicked again to reset my password. I then got an email back from ClearScore confirming this had been done. I was then able to log into my account - except that it wasn't my account! It was the account of another person with the same...



New royalty free image search engine

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:54:01 +0000

I've been told about Pikwizard, which is an image search engine for royalty free images. I've been playing around with it for a while, and it's really good. It's very clear, there are lots of images available and in the main they were right on topic. I was slightly bemused at one or two entries for my 'library' search (dried corn, pencils and chocolate for example) and it might be an idea to be able to flag some of the tags against images to let the users sort that out. However that's a minor quibble. The images are great -...



Audiosear.ch closes its doors. What now for podcast searching?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:52:01 +0000

Very disappointed to see that Audiosear.ch has closed its doors as of the end of last month. It was a really good podcast search engine and I always started my podcast searches there. If you're casting around (hah! See what I did there?) for an alternative, try Listen Notes which is excellent and indexes 415,107 podcasts and over 24.5 million episodes. It's a great tool and while I'm sorry to see Audiosear.ch go I'm not that worried since we've got this one as a great option instead.



Google continues to destroy its search engine

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 11:22:56 +0000

Google really does seem set on a path of self destruction, at least as far as search engine functionality goes. They've changed the way that the search operator 'info:' works, and it's severely damaged the functionality. As regular searchers will know, info: used to provide you with lots of useful information. You got a link to the cache that Google had stored for the particular page, web pages that are similar to the page, web pages that link to the page URL in question, web pages from the site itself, and finally webpages that contained the URL being searched. You...



Google improves search; makes it much harder

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:17:20 +0000

In a blog post Google has said that it's making search results more local and relevant. What it's actually done is to make things much more difficult, and far more messy. Let me explain. When you want to search on Google you type in your search and you get your results. If you want to see results from another country, such as the Netherlands, you could go to the Netherlands page, run your search and you'd get results appropriate for that country. It's obviously useful if you want to get local information about a person, place, event and so on....



Resources for Bram Stoker month

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:42:54 +0100

On one of my courses recently a delegate told me that she was going to be running a Bram Stoker month in November. He was born on November 8th 1847, so this will be the 170th anniversary of his birth. I thought that was a splendid idea, and over the weekend I put together a bunch of resources that might be helpful to anyone else doing something similar. You're welcome to use any, all or none of them, or to take the ideas and create entirely different things. A Symbaloo page. If you visit https://www.symbaloo.com/mix/bramstoker you'll see a mix of...



Anagram search engine

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 16:58:52 +0100

I’ve mentioned the Stands4 network in the past – they are a company that specialises in creating small, very niche search tools, such as Lyrics, Poetry, Biographies and Symbols. Their latest is Anagrams and Scrambles at http://www.anagrams.net/ and they have listed a lot of anagrams by subject. So for example in the category of ‘Classic writers anagrams’ we learn that an anagram of Thomas Hardy is ‘shy hot drama’ and for Mark Twain is ‘twin karma’. It’s also possible to search ‘back to front’ as it were to see that ‘midnight kicks’ is an anagram for Dick King Smith. As...



Boolify for easier searching; great for kids as well

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 11:53:53 +0100

There used to be a really good site called Boolify several years ago, which had a drag and drop approach to building searches. You simply clicked on a building block such as 'word' or 'not' and dropped it into the work area, adding in your terms as you went. The search was then mirrored for you in a search box, and was then executed. Boolify died but has been taken over and resurrected by Kidzsearch and you can find it on their website here: https://www.kidzsearch.com/boolify/ It's still very simple to use, though it can be a little bit fiddly to...