Tuesday, November 21, 2006

customized search engines

Today I created my own customized searh engine using rollyo and google. I am searching for authorative medical information that geared toward patients and non-medical personnels.

Creating the tool itself is quick easy and the management is not hard. You may customize the look to some degree and intergrete the search tool into your own website -- cool! But I had such a hard time to put them on the sidebar of this blog. I think that my logger template was not setup correctly.( I really don't like blogger's templates, too little to choose, too different to understand, too hard to customize...). Now I list the two search engines here side by side, let me know which one you like better.

By the way, Rollyo is powered by yahoo search engine and google, of course, powered by Google.

Google CSE on Consumer Health:

Rollyo searchbox on Consumer Health:

Powered by Rollyo

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Two interesting search engine

Two interesting search engines:
- MsDewey.com: This is not a new search engine, rather a new searching interface with a bad taste avatar woman talking to you while the Microsoft Live search engine brought the answers to you.
An interesting concept, though she need more librarianship training, especially the customer services training. A good point is that I heard she asked "Do you want to refine the search?". Wish to hear more of such things when she does her "searching interview". I also would like to see a better display and navigation of the results.

- Google launched some customized search engines at CustomSearchGuide.com. It is the products of Google Co-Op. I tried the health search forms, the "patient's medical illness search" is just so-so. The results are from medicinenet.com, familydoctor.org, webmd.com, emedicinehealth.com, some associations and a whole bunch of UK websites. Surprisingly, the medlineplus.gov and some other government websites are not included here. The other one, the "health professional medical search" are much better, you can refine the search results, with lots of reputable government websites as the first sets of results. The "Vitamin Info" is a good focused search engine, I like it. I would like to see more focused search engines, maybe kids health search; geriatrics health search; nutrition search etc.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Library Tech Support

Just viewed Jessamyn West's updated presentation "On the Fly Tech Support: Hey, this isn't my job!", especially like the quote from salon:

Something funny happened on the road to the digital library of the future, though. Far from becoming keepers of the keys to the Grand Database of
Universal Knowledge, today's librarians are increasingly finding themselves in an unexpected, overloaded role: They have become the general public's last-resort providers of tech support.

I cannot agree with it any more. Not only the public library, but also the academic library, they somehow are playing the role of hardware and software help desk at some times. It kind of supports and gives credit to my role in this library. Now I can make the local hero meetings and MCDST more important to me and to others in the library.