Archive for the ‘Finding people’ Category

Delicious to be scrapped? Some alternatives

17 December 2010

Rumours broke last night that Yahoo! are to mothball Delicious.

While this would be an inconvenience for those of us who use the tool to save our bookmarks, by binning the Delicious network much real and potential eureka moments in online search will be lost forever.

This is a massive loss for anyone who wants to make sense of the web, including journalists tracking stories, contributors and other reliable sources online.

If push comes to shove, I’m personally inclined towards either Pinboard (subscription for pro version required) or Xmarks, but there are plenty of other alternatives.

Here follows a short (and very much draft) extract of notes for a book I’m aiming to finish later next year, on online research for journalists.

It covers some alternatives to Delicious for newsgathering and research…

For some, the browsing and searching options in Delicious may seem a little over-restrictive – what of all those bookmarks whose owners haven’t tagged, described or even included a title for their bookmarks – moreover, how valuable can search in this field be, when you can’t search the full text of all links saved in this social bookmarking service?

Certainly Google doesn’t index Delicious bookmarks by default, so are there any alternatives?

As ever, of course there are – several services offer more sophisticated ways of searching your bookmarks, using a range of means.

Since March 2010, Google Bookmarks have been experimenting with public lists – although no where near as thorough or populated as Delicious, Google Bookmarks (which requires a Google account to use) does provide search for the entire page of your bookmarks, giving a researcher more control over the bookmarks which have been shared publicly, and lessening the impact of bad or inconsistent tagging.

Blinklist offer an alternative search option, albeit one with relatively little UK content, and which lacks much of the functionality of Delicious (similar could be said for Faves which contains a good deal of content, but isn’t as robust as Delicious).

Likewise, social annotation tools like Diigo (which incorporates FURL – account required) may be useful here too. CiteULike and Connotea offer an academic take on social bookmarking, and can be a useful accompaniment to Google Scholar for digging out expertise, or esoteric research.

inSuggest offers a bookmark discovery service – just type in your (or any) username to receive suggested new reading.

However, this searcher didn’t have much luck – I struggled to make the Deligoo plugin for Internet Explorer work (and the FireFox extension is not compatible with version 3.6.6.), while Delizzy wasn’t available at the time of writing.

In addition, I wasn’t able to sign up to Simpy, but that doesn’t stop it being a useful place to search other people’s bookmarks. It is possible to construct a Google Custom Search to house your bookmarks, or use sources like Lijit.

Scotland: domain of the brave?

14 December 2008

So Alex Salmond is set to apply officially for a .scot domain.

My initial instinct from an online research perspective, is that this would be a very welcome step. (more…)

A couple of tips for blog search

1 December 2008

Contributor finding

 

Say you are contributor finding, on the lookout for a blogger who happens to be a certain profession – lets say a nurse. (more…)

Another people finder – Yasni

29 November 2008

In the week I spotted Phil Bradley’s review of a people finder called Yasni.

I’ve linked to the UK domain here, for obvious reasons.

Having blogged elsewhere on the merits (and limitations) of various people finders, and given how useful they are becoming as people increasingly remove themselves from more traditional people finders (like electoral rolls), I thought it worthwhile giving it a quick once-over. (more…)

Blog Search – which is best?

27 October 2008

Ann Smarty has done an excellent review of blog search here.

 

It’s a 4-way compare-and-contrast of features available from Google Blog Search, Technorati, Blog Pulse and Bloglines.

 

I’ve linked to the advanced search pages for each of these sources here.  In doing so I’ve learned that Google Blog Search is the only one of the four which offers a UK-specific domain.

 

Still, given the otherwise mixed nature (and indeed range) of results, I think it’s fair to conclude that all four are worth persevering with.