April 15, 2012

Google's Fusion Tables

Google Adds New Options for Viewing Data in Fusion Tables, Cameron Scott, IDG News (Apr 13)

Google is doing something in the field of data visualization - tho it's not easy to figure out. It's Fusion Tables:

"One new feature provides a checklist from which users can select different subsets, or facets, of the data to see how they'll look when added in different combinations to a map or a chart. It has also added tabs that let users compare the different views they create to decide which is best.

Fusion Tables also has some new formats for displaying data, including a network graph for showing relationships in a social network, and a zoomable line chart."

There is a search engine -- https://www.google.com/fusiontables/search

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Information Visualization , Search Engines

April 14, 2012

InstaGrok - new educational search

instaGrok: The Search Engine Made Just For Education, Edudemic (Apr 7)

Reviews InstaGrok - a search engine aimed at students - mainly secondary school.

It's visual - and therefore interactive - and that's great. But these do not have a high survival rate.

This one shows orbs on a graph for concepts, and sections for key facts, websites, videos, images, quizzes, concepts.

Registered users can keep a journal to record thoughts and lessons.

Here's the About Page - it's not easy to find. There is no information on who has created this and where it obtains its content.

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Search Engines

What searchers think about search

User Thoughts on Personalized Search [Infographic], Melissa Fach, SEJ (Apr 13)

This infographic is drawn from the findings of a PEW Internet study - Is Personalized Search Getting Too Personal?

Searchers do not feel that results are getting better, and they are hostile to personalization. There are some nuances, but that is the basic message to Google and Bing. Are they listening?

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Search Engines

Changes at Google+

Google+ updates its user interface, refines navigation and photos, Cesar Torres, Ars Technica (Apr 11)

"Google announced today a major redesign and a set of new features for users of its Google+ service. Navigation and several user interface features on Google+ pages have gotten a design makeover, and several new features aim to attract more users to share photos and promote more interactions with each other. "

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Social Networking

Tools for Pinterest Pinners

Make Better Use Of Pinterest With These 5 Pinterest Tools, MakeUseOf (Apr 10)

Pinterest fans - make your browser work for you when you pin to Pinterest and then analyze your Pinterest with Pinanalytics. Or run searches on the images.

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Social Bookmarking

Google and anchor text

Google “Clarifies” its use of Anchor Text, Majestic SEO Blog (Apr 10)

Google did not drop anchor text as a ranking factor - rather it just changed how it "scores" it.

"Better interpretation and use of anchor text. We’ve improved systems we use to interpret and use anchor text, and determine how relevant a given anchor might be for a given query and website."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Search Engines

Chrome Extensions save you time

21 Time-Saving Chrome Extensions for Students, OnlineUniversities.com (Apr 11)

Great new list of extensions to the Chrome browser that can help students save time. Researchers will also like many of these such as Evernote clipper, Thesaurus, and Google Dictionary.

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Browsers

New series from Mary Ellen Bates @mebs

Webinar from Mary Ellen Bates on Top 10 Tips for Searching LinkedIN - available at YouTube (April 11, 2012) Superb. [32.30 min]

Also at batesinfo.com/meb123

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Social Search

Yahoo Mail's Features

Get More out of Yahoo! Mail , Regan Clark, Yodel Anecdotal (Apr 12)

This is a Yahoo blog - and it has some tips on using Yahoo Mail - for example, "Automatic Organizer sorts your emails according to pre-set preferences so your inbox doesn’t spiral out of control. "

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories E-Mail & Instant Messaging

Google going semantic

Google Becomes Answer Engine With Semantic Technology − Great News For Retailers, Paul Bruemmer, Search Engine Land (Apr 12)

Google's is going to do what Ask.com was very good at - match search queries against a database for the answers.

"Search Engine Land author and Ontologica semantic services provider Barbara Starr said, “It’s inevitable that lots of verified structured data will give rise to the ability of search engines to become answer engines.” And that’s happening now. Google wants to better match search queries with a database containing hundreds of millions of entities on people, places and things that the company has been collecting over the last two years, while focusing more on structured data."

Google will add (more) semantic technology to web search to interpret the keywords, rather than depend on straight match on keywords.

Retailers will love the use of structured data to present information on products -- "GoodRelations RDFa is a semantic markup technology designed specifically for ecommerce. It allows retailers to send precise data on their products, items or services when communicating it to search engines"

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Search Technology

April 13, 2012

E-Book Reading the norm

The rise of e-reading, by Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr, Kristen Purcell, Mary Madden and Joanna Brenner, PEW Internet (Apr 4)

One in five Americans have read an e-book (21% in February 2012). This means reading an e-book through a reader or on an iPad. And 29% of Americans age 18 and older "own at least one specialized device for e-book reading – either a tablet or an e-book reader".

Results are based on a survey of 2,986 Americans aged 16 and older in November-December 2011.

Another figure shows how extensive e-content is today -- "some 43% of Americans age 16 and older say they have either read an e-book in the past year or have read other long-form content such as magazines, journals, and news articles in digital format on an e-book reader, tablet computer, regular computer, or cell phone."

People commented on preferences for print vs digital --

"As a rule, dual-platform readers preferred e-books when they wanted to get a book quickly, when they were traveling or commuting, and when they were looking for a wide selection. However, print was strongly preferred over e-books when it came to reading to children and sharing books with others. When asked about reading books in bed, the verdict was split: 45% prefer reading e-books in bed, while 43% prefer print."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories E-Books

Make Use Of Best Sites

11 New Websites Added to Our List of the Best Websites, MakeUseOf (Apr 11)

Oh my - so many good new sites to enjoy. MakeUseOf now has 119 sites for music, movies, photos, productivity, search engines, books - and many more.

One example - "Ge.tt – a simple, real-time sharing website letting you share files quickly and move on."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Desktop , Web Resource

Internet in 8 years

INFOGRAPHIC : The Internet In 2020, Make Use Of (Apr 9)

Main trends - connecting everything, and everything in the cloud. This infographic shows growth as "infrastructure, services and businesses start hooking up more to the net.".

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Infrastructure

April 10, 2012

Your LinkedIn Resume

Learn LinkedIn: How To Build Your Living Resume, Joshua Sherman, Makeuseof (

if you aren't on Linked In this will help you set up your resume, and if you are on, this may help you improve it.

"In this manual, we’ll show you how to set yourself up on LinkedIn, establish your account, and develop your “living resume” in an easy step by step process. Those of you who have no clue about LinkedIn or how it works, fear not! We’ll go over must-know tips and information to ensure you don’t make any mistakes. For those of you a little seasoned in the LinkedIniverse, feel free to read on: you will learn some new tricks, or how to better personalize or develop your living resume."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Social Networking

April 07, 2012

Zeeik for video curation

Now- social video curation - at Zeeik.com

Check the video to start - Introducing Zeeik.com -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8knCYkCd9eM&feature;=player_embedded

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Multimedia

April 06, 2012

Pinterest in third place

Pinterest now the third most popular social network after Facebook & Twitter, Venture Beat (Apr 5)

No kidding - " a new report from Experian says Pinterest is now the third most popular social network in the U.S., based on number of visits, surpassed only by Facebook and Twitter."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Social Bookmarking

Yahoo sinking

Yahoo In A Fight For Its Life, Greg Sterling, Search Engine Land (Apr 6)

Yahoo needs a new vision - and it doesn't look like it will be search.

"Reuters reports that Thompson’s plan will focus on three areas: “core media and communications,” “platforms” and “data.” We’ll see how that impacts what remains of Yahoo search and other products. "

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Search Engines

Inside a Google Search Quality Meeting

Google lifts the kimono on what goes on behind search, releases uncut video of meeting, Drew Olanoff, The Next Web (Mar 12)

This behind-the-scenes video of a Google search quality meeting is fascinating. The discussion was about spelling corrections in very long queries. These account for only .1% of queries but all considered the implications for the searcher and the service. Get to see Senior VP Amit Singhal chair the meeting - quality was uppermost.

Note also the Apple laptops, and the crowded room.

The video uses YouTube’s annotation to identify the speaker and provide reader board text. Worth the 8 minutes.

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Search Technology

Become a content currator

Content Curation Guide for SEO - What, How, Why, Daily Seo Blog (Apr 3)

Content curation is the current buzz term for collecting content in a subject area - however narrow or wide you wish to make it. It's what librarians did (and do), and any subject specialist / hobbyist. Today, it's much easier for anyone to do it online and share. It goes without saying that some will be very good, and others very bad.

This article gives a useful analysis of the kinds of curation - aggregation, distillation, elevation, mashups, and chronology.

Next the tools - discovery tools and production tools.

Lastly - why do this? There are several, but I like this one -- "Curating the best sources about your industry on your site and, especially, using your social media profiles as a medium to share your discoveries, can really help you in obtaining the objective of becoming - if not the - at least one of reference in your industry."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Current Awareness

Northern Light Discovery Portal

Northern Light Introduces Discovery Portals by Marydee Ojala, Newsbreaks (Apr 5)

Northern Light, a company that serves a company's research needs, is launching a new product called Discovery Portal. It will hold a "predetermined body of external, publicly available information." - such as conference abstracts and presentations. The first portal is for life sciences.

"Besides conference abstracts, the Life Sciences Discovery Portal includes content sets from MEDLINE/PubMed Central, ClinicalTrials.gov, life sciences patents sourced from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Northern Light Business News, Life Sciences Conference Radar (a conference directory), and Life Sciences Company Radar (company directory of the 100 largest companies with news and links to additional information)."

But - there is no information about it yet at Northern Light - perhaps it will be attached to the SinglePoint offerings.

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Premium Services

Prismatic - Twitter news stream

Prismatic Hopes to Create a New Category of Social News, Nick Bilton, New York Times (Apr 3)

Prismatic is a social news discovery service - it watches all the activity in Twitter and then uses your tweets and the people you follow to deliver a news stream.

The author gives this example - "And it works. For example, since I moved out to San Francisco from New York City last year, I have had trouble finding local news about my new city on Twitter. Often the links that are shared in my Twitter stream are still predominantly New York-centric, as the majority of people I follow are from there. When I search Prismatic for “San Francisco” it surfaces the most interesting and relevant news in the area, and helps narrow it down by people I’ve been following who live here."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Social Search

April 05, 2012

Using Google Docs

52 Great Google Docs Secrets for Students, Online Colleges (Apr 4)

52 tips! It's a course in using Google Docs. You can even share a Google Doc with a workmate who refuses to get a Google account.

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Desktop

Being productive

Use Your Browser as a Productivity Tool, David Daw, PCWorld (Apr 4)

Bring it on -- " in this article we'll discuss three of the most popular productivity and time management systems, along with some great browser modifications to help you stick to them."

I like the idea of Pomodoro - work as hard as you can for 25 minutes, then take a short break. Helps block distractions and gives the body a rest.

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Browsers

April 03, 2012

AGO to be in the Google Art Project

AGO signs up with Google Art Project, Globe and Mail (Apr 3)

Art Gallery of Ontario has joined the Google Art Project to show 58 artworks from its European and Canadian collections.

Viewers will be able to tour the gallery - "Tours use the Street View option of Google Maps to show galleries and then let viewers zoom in on some individual art works using high-definition photography."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Canada

April 02, 2012

Libraries in a digital world

The Decline and Fall of the Library Empire by Steve Coffman, Searcher (Apr 2012)

Libraries have had to adapt and adapt again to changes wrought by the digital marketplace. It seems that no sooner was a new service offered to make use of new delivery, but that the ground shifted: web directories, Library 2.0, online access to databases, and now access to e-books.

Steve Coffman doesn't think there is a bright future for libraries in e-books.

"In short, despite a current fascination with them, the long-term prospects for ebooks in libraries don’t look good. The publishers and most authors really don’t want to see libraries in the market and their terms and conditions are becoming increasingly restrictive. The lack of a first sale doctrine and the burden of licensing terms libraries are forced to accept undercut their ability to use the resources being paid for as publishers and vendors dictate everything, from whom libraries may lend to, how many times items can be circulated, to what titles may be licensed. And for this, libraries may have to pay nearly twice as much as what would normally be paid for a print version of the same item."

Posted at Permanent Link in the following categories Libraries