The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook 3rd edition
If you're happy with the search results you get from Yahoo!, Google, or Wikipedia, don't bother with this book. BUT, if you want to consistently search for reliable, verifiable results for your research, you will find The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook very helpful. If you're already an expert Internet researcher, you will find helpful hints throughout this book that help in areas that are not your expertise, but you'll be familiar with most of it. This book may not be for you.
The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook gives the novice researcher all the tools needed to get started. It starts in Chapter 1 with some basics and a brief history of the Internet from the first networked computers and user groups (Usenet) through the inception of the Internet (Tim Berners-Lee), the first directories (early Yahoo!) up through modern search engines(Google and more).
From then on each chapter covers a distinctive area of research sources available on the Internet. The chapters build on each other, but are distinctive as well.
Chapter 2 covers directories and portals. These are sites that are good for browsing. You know you want to start getting a feel for what is available. You want general information rather than specific information. The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook gives helpful sites and places to start. In Chapters 3 and 4 Randolph Hock examines search engines from the basics to the specifics. He compares the major engines and shows the differences and similarities of them. He reminds the reader that a good search engine search includes more than one search engine.
In Chapter 5 The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook shows how useful discussion groups, forums, blogs, etc, can be for the researcher. Chapter 7 has tips for searching audio and video resources. Chapter 8 covers news resources. Chapter 9 examines consumer sites - from shopping mall sites to specific product sites. Hock helps the searcher learn to distinguish between the good information and the dross. Chapter 10 gives a brief introduction of having your own presence on the web through a web site, blog, or other format.
Chapter 7 gives good advice on creating your own "reference shelf". Hock gives many sources of different information a good researcher should have close at hand. They should then be included together in a grouping of bookmarks, folders, or other area easy for the researcher to access. If you've been searching the Internet any length of time, you've probably already started this. (I have a folder on my work computer just for the different medical research sites I use.) If you haven't and you're reading this book, I suggest you start one immediately.
The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook gives many helpful web sites. Ran Hock has pulled together the current best (at least in his opinion) sites for all the different areas this book covers. Remember that though this book was published this year, some sites will disappear and new ones will come along. (I checked one that has since been taken over.)
Hock also gives hints and directions to aide the researcher. This is great for the novice researcher. All the sites given are great for researchers who have experience but are focused in a particular niche. For example, there are suggestions of sites for product comparison that I don't normally need and wouldn't know the best place to start. Now when I'm ready to start comparing e-readers I'll check out the different sites recommended in Chapter 9.
I bought this book thinking it was for the expert searcher (I misinterpreted the word Extreme). It wasn't what I'd expected or wanted for my job. Yet it will serve as an excellent general reference source. I'll be glad to keep this one on my real reference shelf to enhance my virtual one.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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