Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Going Deep

A Pownce from a student yesterday:
[S]o [C]hase, when [I] google stuff to find links to help me out for my posts [I]'m starting to get my own work!
[It's] driving me crazy. Just wanted to tell you for no reason.

She's not the first person to find herself when searching for new information on her benchmark project. I was hoping this would happen. I could have preached the shortcomings of the almighty Google, but they wouldn't look anywhere else until they truly needed it.

They've started needing it. They've started needing the deep web. We started talking about it today. A somewhat convoluted metaphor of Google being like the garbage men on my block and deep search engines being like the little old lady who picks up the actual litter started things off.

Wikipedia's entry on the Invisible Web says this about its size:
In 2000, it was estimated that the deep Web contained approximately 7,500 terabytes of data and 550 billion individual documents. Estimates, based on extrapolations from the study entitled How much information 2003?, from University of California, Berkeley, show that the deep Web consists of about 91,000 terabytes. By contrast, the surface Web, which is easily reached by search engines, is only about 167 terabytes. The Library of Congress contains about 11 terabytes, for comparison.

Philly schools have a subscription to EBSCO. It's one of the best kept secrets in the district. Now, EBSCO got me through college. Fully text searches were the reason I spent minimal time in the library (sorry Doug Johnson). Showing it to the kids today, though, I felt like I was handing them a Vespa in celebration of their 16th birthdays. For some, it got the job done. For others, more was needed.

Enter "99 Resources to Research & Mine the Invisible Web" and a tutorial from Berkeley on using the invisible web.

Not all of the tools were right for all the students - I know, I was shocked too. It's weird when they learn and see that it's important.

More later.


doug0077 said...

Hi Chase,

My standard response to my administrators who would brag "I never spent any time in the library as a student," was always, "Yeah, I could tell that about you."

I would not dream of being so unkind to you.

No apologies necessary and all the very best!


Kristin Hokanson said...

as a newbie to PA...I hope you know that the state provides a TON of resources through the public library and all the kids need is a public library card. You need to be 18 to sign up online, but you can get applications from the library...have the kids fill them out, have them send to you at school....
The EFree Library Resources are extensive and Power Library can be accessed remotely but there should be a way on your campus for kids to use them without a card. Will definitely add some of the resources you posted to my search strategies for students :)