The Curation of Information

With the rise of social media, a new way of searching for information on the internet has arrived. This new curation of information is quite different from using regular search engines and seems to be a unique way of organizing the information you seek. “Just google it” may be an expression of less frequency with this new technique.

This curation starts with the use of a social media dashboard such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite. These dashboards allow you to compile and manage various social media services all in one convenient place. Here you can search and view specific hashtags and accounts through each network. This hashtag and account specific searching can bring you closer to specific information and connect you to people, blogs and websites specifically related to your topic of interest. This new curation may save you from sifting through various search engine result pages or having to think of specific search phrases in order to find what you need.

Here is a screenshot of my TweetDeck showing a few topics and hashtags neatly organized in easy to view columns:

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This way of gathering information can be more specific than a general web engine search and is an easy way of organizing information and topics into neat and easy to access columns. TweetDeck is incredibly useful, especially for managing various social media platforms, and I will continue to use and explore it’s potential. I highly recommend a dashboard to anyone who is overwhelmed with the overload of social media platforms and would like to explore new ways of information hunting.

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Power Searching with Google

One may think searching google is second nature and that performing a search does not require any thought process. Yet, no matter how smart google may be at collecting and organizing your thoughts , there are ways to make your searching even faster and more efficient than you’ve ever imagined. Below are some questions that have been answered with some efficient and useful searching tips to help make you a google search expert.

Before I jump in, here are three tips to remember when trying to create an efficient search term on google:
i. Think about what you are trying to find.
ii. Choose words that you think would appear on the page.
iii. Put yourself in the mindset of the author of those words.
This is the art of keyword choice and it will help you select effective keywords to create an efficient search.

1. How would you search for an exact word or phrase?
To search for an exact word or phrase on google, place double quotations at the beginning and end of the word or phrase you would like to find in the query. These quotations ensures google will search for the exact sequence stated in the query.
For example, “McDonald’s Big Mac Nutrition Facts”.

2. How would you search for something on a specific site?
To search for something on a specific site, google recommends using the site: operator. An operator is something extra you add into your query in order to filter results a specific way. The site: operator filters specific information from the domain or site you specify.
For example, Site:.gov Drivers License. This states to google that you specifically want to search only government sites for information on drivers licenses.
*It is important to note, when using an operator there must not be a space between the colon and the specified text otherwise the search will not work.
In addition, if you want to find a specific word on a web page you can perform a text find. To perform a text find you would press Control/Command F. A small find window should appear on your screen and when text is entered, it jumps to the first word on the page that matches your search.

3. How would you correctly search for a definition?
To correctly search for a definition using google, you would use the define feature. Type define then the word you would like to define in the query. Google will instant search as you type and present the definition right at the top of the serach engine results page.
For example type, define evanescent.

4. How would you search for a specific product available within a specific price range?
To search for a specific product within a specific price range on google, you must place double quotations around the specific product and follow it with your price range, with the two prices separated with two dots.
For example, “rain boots” $25..$50.

5. How would you search for a specific file type?
To search for a specific file type on google, you would use the File type: operator. This operator works the same as the site: operator, accept it filters results differently. The File type: operator specifies the kind of documents you want on the web and makes it easy for you to access them. Some various document types are: PDF, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, etc.
For example, File type:PPT
You may also use the file type: operator in combination with the site: operator to better refine your search.
For example, file type:pdf site:ryerson.ca course calendar

6. How would you include or ignore words in your search?
To include words in your search you may use the OR function. This does not filter anything, it only adds more results to your search and is great when using search terms as synonyms for each other. Note: the OR must be capitalized in order to work correctly.
For example, fish pedicure OR spa.
To ignore words in your search simply place a minus () in front of the words you want to exclude from your search.
For example, Salsa -dancing -music. This will ensure you are only searching for the food salsa and not the entertaining dance.

7. How would you find related pages?
In order to find a related page, google states to use the related: operator. This allows you to search sites related to the one you specify in the query.
For example, related:mcdonalds.ca. This will bring up other websites related to mcdonalds.ca like wendys.ca or aw.ca.

8. How would you find a topic, searching all available synonyms of a word?
To further your research on a topic by finding an available synonym, google says to use the (~) before the specified word in the query.
For example, ~beautiful

9. How would you find the time in another country?
To find the time in another country, simply type time in the query followed by the place.
For example, time in Australia.

10. How would you find how many Egyptian pounds you get for $20 Canadian?
To easily find a monetary conversion on google, simply use the conversions function. Type number units in units in the query to receive your results.
For example, 20 Canadian dollars in Egyptian pounds

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