Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988
Power Tips for Searching the Internet
Published by Praxis International, Inc.:
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all accounts, searching for information is the number one Internet
application. As a professional who is paid to search the Internet,
Leszek Chudzinski, reference/business librarian at Chester County
Library, has developed some valuable power tips for searching the
Identify the information you are seeking. Be as specific as
possible. For example, types of searches can be classified into
categories such as statistics, almanac-type information, primary
sources, perspectives, hot topics, images and sounds, quotations,
advice, biographical information, late-breaking news and many others.
These categories can then be sub-divided. For instance, are you looking
for business statistics, government statistics, or medical statistics?
If you know of specific sites that may have the information you want,
start with those sites rather than with a general search engine. For
example, Business.com, a new site,
is a good place to begin searching for all kinds of business statistical
data. Today, almost every site has its own search window, making it very
easy to search for information within a site.
For foreign information, go to foreign sites. Usually, foreign
sites have an English language option.
If you don't know where to begin, go to the Chester County Library
The library homepage provides quick access to numerous search engines,
including Google, Alta
Vista, Yahoo, Excite,
Highway 61, Looksmart,
Use the Chester County Library site for help in selecting a search
engine. Each of the general search engines has strengths and
drawbacks. Google offers good hits fast, Alta Vista and Lycos are good
starting points if you have a specific keyword, and Yahoo is recommended
if you have a broad subject search and need to narrow your focus. The
library site features annotated information on additional search
Search for information about Chester County and the Delaware Valley
by using the links the library homepage provides to local sites
including Chester County Connect, Meta Chester County, Yahoo Chester
County, Libertynet and Yahoo Philadelphia.
Access the Pennsylvania Online World of Electronic Resources (POWER)
from home by using a valid Chester County Library card. By entering
your library barcode number, you can have access to full-text databases
of periodicals and reference resources. One of these resources,
EBSCOHost, provides indexing and full-text access to over 3,000
Search using specialized databases. Some search resources are
restricted to in-library use only. One of these resources, Dun's Million
Dollar Directory, provides information on businesses with twenty or more
employees and annual sales of at least one million dollars. Another
resource, Reference USA, gives information on businesses of every size.
A search of Chester County businesses produced 2,677 records on Dun's
Million Dollar Directory and over 17,500 records on Reference USA.
If you want to search and don't have home access to the Internet, you
can go to the public library and access the Internet for free. The
library also has information about how to get on the Chester County
For still more help in searching the Internet, call the library
reference department at 610-280-2620/21 or e-mail the department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
are some misconceptions about the Internet that Leszek feels are
important to know. The first misconception is that the Internet has
everything. The second misconception is that everything is free on the
Internet. The truth is that some sites provide information to
"hook" you. Then, if you want more information, you have to
pay for it.
single search engine covers more than forty percent of the Internet.
Most search engines probably fall into the fifteen to twenty percent
conclusion, Leszek says that searching the Internet is a skill that,
just as any other skill, must be developed. The more you practice
searching, the more systematic, intuitive and effective your searches
The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (www.GregGore.com)
column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on September
Greg Gore can be reached at gg@GregGore.com.
2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.