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Mar - 25 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

My first session Friday was the Search Engine update from Gary Price. You can tell that Gary loves his job just by watching him present. He was out of time and he just kept going and going :) hehe

Gary put up his presentation so that everyone can benefit from it – so I’ll just summarize the things he said that may not be on there.

He mentioned the coolest plugin available for Firefox, it’s called Search Engine Ordering. It makes it so that you can add almost any search engine to your Firefox search window without an individual script. The plugin says it will work for any search with a GET method, but Gary says he’s gotten it to work with POST methods as well. How can we use this? Well we can add our catalogs & site searches to Firefox on our public PCs and make them the defaults – this way our patrons search us first instead of Google – we can post a tip on our websites or in our newsletters about this nifty tool so that our patrons are also using it at home or at work.

NewspaperARCHIVE.com is a pay service, but Gary pointed out that they also offer a ton of great free resources (links on his presentation).

Since Google bought Writely, people can’t sign up for accounts anymore – so why not use ZohoWriter another web-based word processor that is freely available. It keeps track of revisions, let’s people collaborate and can create output in PDF or Word format.

Exalead is a not so popular search engine that is hosted in Europe. Gary made a point to mention that he liked that they were trying to compete in the search engine market which is mostly American. Exalead is actually a powerful little search engine, it offers features like fuzzy searching, stemming, and proximity searching.

Apparently (and this isn’t on the presentation page) Trader Joe’s has a blog! It’s called Tracking Trader Joe’s. Why does this matter? Because they’re setting themselves apart (even more) from their competitors, they’re meeting their customers where they are – which is what we have to do.

Gary also said something that stuck with me (and this isn’t an exact quote) – “We might not use it, but we should know what’s out there” – so go through his presentation and learn what’s out there so that when a patron asks you a question you can say – “Oh, I’ve heard of that – let me see what I can find for you” instead of “Huh??”

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