Here are a number of things I’m thinking about, mostly (but not all) for future blog articles.

  1. PurpleSearch. This is a new federated search engine from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands with some intriguing features, including automated source selection. Here’s an introduction from purpleSearch’s About page:

    Purplesearch enables simultaneous search in the most important scientific and scholarly databases. It is an interface that eases and enriches federated search.

    It eases this method of searching by not requiring manual selection of the databases to search in. PurpleSearch learns, over time, what each databases contains and will give good results for any given search query. PurpleSearch combines smart search techniques, local indexing, and using that index for each new search. As such, presented results are those from a search in the best scoring databases for a query. It is also possible to do targeted searches within different databases.

    Most of us will require a guest account to use the service. I’ve requested one and will report back with my impressions.

  2. OCLC and federated search. Carl Grant has been nudging me to get involved in the conversation about the OCLC record use policy. Carl recently blogged about it at the Care Affiliates Blog. Yes, it’s a big conversation. Throwing in my two cents is now higher on my list.

  3. Why Reference and Instruction Librarians Hate Federated Searching. This is a very thought provoking article at the Web Services Librarian Blog. The article has quite a bit of depth to it and the title doesn’t say it all so do read the article. I will respond to the valid concerns via an article on this blog.
  4. Microsoft Windows 7 and federated search. A majority of the Google alerts I receive for this blog these days are about Windows 7 and federated search. I’ve moved covering this new feature higher up on my list.

  5. Do you “presearch?” Marianne the Librarian 2 introduced the term “presearch” to me. The term was introduced to her via this article at the Free Range Librarian. Can you guess what the term means and how it might relate to federated search?

  6. Reminder: ALCTS E-forum on discovery in Library 2.0. Last month I wrote about ALA division ALCTS hosting E-forums. Their February discussion includes federated search. Read my December article, sign up, and join the discussion.

    Here’s an email I received about their January forum:

    From January 14 – 16, 2009, ALCTS hosted an E-forum on providing professional development opportunities at a time when libraries are having to cope with shrinking resources. Although this first E-forum discussion of 2009 attracted considerable interest in advance, only 19 messages were posted. A number of very worthwhile ideas and suggestions were made ranging from taking advantage of training opportunities offered by vendors to developing “learning breaks” and “play dates” and posting training videos on YouTube.

    The complete archive of messages may be reviewed at

  7. Steve Arnold reviews Biznar. Search engine expert Steve Arnold has reviewed blog sponsor Deep Web Technology’s Biznar business search portal.

  8. Is it federated search or not? AltSearchEngines just reviewed Twingly, a new search engine for Twitter and other micro-blog platforms. The AltSearchEngines article makes this confusing statement:

    It’s also therefore we call it the first federated microblog search because our goal is to indexing all microblogs from all services. If you know more microblogging services or run your own, please contact our developers so we could start index it.

    It does federated search and it indexes? I’m confused. It might do some of both but I’m not clear on whether it does real-time search at all or whether it means “aggregate” when it says “federate.” I’ll need to spend some time testing out the service to see if I can figure out what Twingly is really doing.

On a lighter and off-topic note, here are two fun sites that analyze your blog (or web-site) and try to guess things about you:

  • http://typealyzer.com. Tries to determine your personality type. I didn’t agree with what it said about this blog but maybe I’m not “letting my hair down” when I blog here.

  • http://genderanalyzer.com. Can a computer guess your gender from your writing? GenderAnalyzer guessed my gender correctly by analyzing some text in this blog.

Do Typealyzer and GenderAnalyzer have you figured out? Are there other items I should have on my “to do” list? Let us know.

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 9:02 pm and is filed under viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or TrackBack URI from your own site.

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