Finding Sounds

The LibrarianInBlack posted about the Soundogs sound effects search engine. It seems to be pretty cool… But FindSounds is cooler.

FindSounds is a specialized search engine for sound effects and musical instrument samples. You can specify audio resolution, sample rates, file formats, mono/stereo, and file size in the search. And all the sounds found using FindSounds are free (better than Soundogs).

Chris Sherman wrote an article about it awhile back.

CIL2006, Day 1: Federated Search Engines – Lessons Learned

Frank Cervone:

70% of all searches are keyword searches and they pretty much get article searches

Students don’t understand the concept of “metasearch” and federated

Federated product – good place to go for starters

students have strong expectations about how results should be displayed: relevance order – it’s the search engine model…

advanced users tend to head towards databses

If it’s not federated, it’s ignored. The hope is that people will click through to the native interface when appropriate

finding the right group of databases for subject areas is important

long lists of databases – students find them confusing and make them feel stupid

they group databases by “best bets” or the three major databases in any given topic area.

It’s critical that they work from the perspective of the patron.

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Jeff Wisniewski:

Webfeat – live since Sept 2004

majority of searches come from the quick find search on their website’s main page

They provide three access points: federated product, a-z list, and subject list

Google has set the speed standard – they get “it’s kinda slow” comments

Speed constraints – be selective – dont’ want a “earch all” when all equals 300+ databases

monitor usage stats, especially turnaways

implement a formal evaluation process

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Ying Zhang: MetaLib Implementations

spoke about her organization’s implementation of MetaLib

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Athena Hoeppner:

Usability aspects of their federated search product

Most users use the quick search feature

They believe customization would help – trying to label things differently

Metalib isn’t an ideal solution for them because of the lack of easy customization

They’d like to add lots of help features, add useful icons, and have the visual design mirror their website

CIL2006

CIL2006, Day 1: Opening Remarks and Keynote by Chris Sherman

First, for Tom Hogan’s opening remarks:

  • 2380-ish attendees this year!
  • 150 speakers and moderators… wow.
  • 60 exhibitors

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Keynote: Search Engine Update, Chris Sherman

Starting to see true differentiation and divergence among the major search engines:

Ask:

  • Jeeves retired. first-class search engine, as good as or better than the others
  • They also have Gary Price
  • Many new tools. Web Answers – a natural laguage search that actually works.
  • great map tool – better than google and yahoo. Even gives driving/walking directions, depending on what you want to do

Google:

  • Google is: advertising company, microsoft killer, ISP, Banker, etc, etc, etc…
  • Not just focused on search anymore
  • Suggest, Q&A, Desktop, Video, etc – lots of options

MSN:

  • still spending money to develop a search engine and a search advertising network
  • You need version 3.0 with all microsoft products… so wait awhile
  • Clustering (sorta like Northern Light used to do)
  • Birdseye and street level imagery – nice satellite imagery

Yahoo

  • Pace seems to have slowed at Yahoo
  • turning into a “people mediated” search – with tagging and personalization
  • Yahoo Mindset – a version of the search engine that has a slider that can be dragged towards shopping or research to personalize search results

Google and Books

  • Google is probably legal
  • Publishers VCR myopia factor – it will probably be better for publishers in the long run – it will help sell more books
  • Publisher will control how much content is displayed – they alwo authorize Google to scan the books
  • You can’t copy or print the text…
  • They plan to link to Worldcat pretty soon
  • Browse full text of public domain materials
  • He thinks they are scanning books so Google can learn and improve search technology…
  • lots of lawsuits

Google’s DoJ Request

  • asked for 1 million random web addresses and records of all Google searches for one week. Other search engines complied! Yikes
  • Google refused because of privacy concerns – good for them.
  • 50k random URLs & 5k queries will be ultimately provided
  • many problems and absurdities with thte request in the first place:
  • won’t show what people are searching for…
  • random URLS don’t show searches, relevance, algorhythms, etc
  • also doesn’t factor in automatic queries

China and search:

  • US is bashing search engines over China censorship
  • But the search engiens are simply obeying the law
  • The Chinese people prefer the censorship to not having search engines at all
  • only a relatively few topics are censored
  • savvy chinese web users know they can reach virtually any web site using a proxy

Conclusions:

  • search is getting exciting again
  • new tools are making content more searchable
  • threats to privacy and individual liberties are subtly increasing in the US, while ironically things seem sto be improving in China

cil2006

Google Blog Search Has Arrived

googleblogCheck this out – Google Blog Search. It’s just what it says it is – “Find blogs on your favorite topics.”

How does it work? Well… just like Google! You search just like you’d normally do with Google. There are a couple of differences between this and the normal Google:

  1. There’s a date after the title of each search result. Makes sense with blog posts, but it’s cool nonetheless. Finally, a date search that just might work like you think it should!
  2. No cached or similar pages links. Fine with me (well, I DO like the cached thing once in awhile…).
  3. At the bottom of the page there are links to subscribe to your search using RSS/Atom – you have the option to subscribe to 10 and 100 result feeds, either Atom or RSS versions.
  4. Like Google groups, you can toggle between Sort by Relevance and Sort by Date
  5. At the top of the search results page, a Related Blogs listing sometimes appears that lists at least one blog that is somehow related to your search.

And this isn’t just searching blogs. It is searching almost everything (well, everything in Google’s database) with an RSS feed. For example, I searched for “kansas city public library” and picked up articles and events that would have appeared in the RSS feeds on our subject guide pages. Which is even cooler! It doesn’t appear to be searching news site’s RSS feeds (like newspaper websites).

The best thing? This search doesn’t come to a screeching halt like Daypop or some of the other blogish search engines. This is a very cool addition to blog search products!

Another interesting side note: it also appears as an option/feature when I log into Blogger (what I currently use to post blogs). Should be some fun reading over the next few days!