Searching is changing. At least that’s one thing I took away from this session. Heather Dystrup-Chiang from Microsoft Live Search said that while 1 in 5 Americans search, they go to a variety of places after they are finished: other portals, news sites, and Wikipedia. And they’re not just doing lighthearted searches but are searching on topics such as health information or sciences. So Live Search wants to turn web searches into information searches and provide more and richer information. But there is lots of content that’s not digitized yet, and pain points abound.
I was very interested in a presentation by Ron Rodrigues of Thomson Scientific on new features of Dialog because I was a heavy Dialog user in my early years. My, how things have changed! Dialog Classic is now completely web-based and has added many new powerful features for the user. I won’t try to describe them all here; check out the web site. One thing is certain; I am very impressed with the new capabilities and wish I had them available 20 years ago!
Finally, the session concluded with Stephen Cawley describing new improvements to Elsevier’s Scirus product. Scirus helps the user to cut through the exploding "data smog" of information and find meaningful content. Browsing and linking have become effective ways of searching, and Scirus makes it easier for users to employ these new techniques.
Did you think that everything to know about searching was already known? These three presentations should convince you otherwise!
Columnist, Information Today and IL2007 Blog Coordinator