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On the lookout

One of the best advances in Web use for me was the introduction of the Google toolbar. I reckon I probably use Google at least a dozen times a day. But I’m always on the lookout for other ways to find pertinent information on the Web.

About six months ago I was introduced to Antarcti.ca’s Visual Net technology. Now a similar approach has been developed by WebMap, with what seems to me an improved interface. I’m just beginning to explore it, but a visual approach to results has undoubted advantages over a purely textual one (although everyone is limited by the sites in their database — Google scores over everyone else in this regard).

The admirable Computists’ Weekly has also directed me to some work at Xerox Parc: “Xerox Parc researchers say that searching for information can be modeled after animals sniffing out food. Foraging theories focus on the ‘scent’ of information, the clues that lead us to it. Annotated Web links provide scent to direct our search, but an overabundance of links dilute the scent and confuse us. Parc scientists are working on a word and link analyzer called Bloodhound.”

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