The First Quarter

The Tip Off
My quest for a better way of doing searches on the Web began March 3, 1997. March 3, was the date of the mid-term examination in my Electronic Publishing course. The test was described as a "scavenger hunt," but nightmare is more like it. I considered myself Web literate up until this point, I was even a little cocky.

"I know I got skillz, man. I know I got skillz." - Shaquille O' Neal

Not hardly Shaquille. It took me five minutes to recover from question shock, ten minutes to get my head together, then I had to use the restroom, and finally I began the test.

Some of the problems I had were:

Too much information

Too little information

Old information

Information irrelevant to the topic

Determining the best engine for each kind of search topic

How to modify a search

The test was the first time I was not surfing leisurely. And after it over I felt like I had been slam dunked. I was-dunked. Using the Web to research subjects can be fun and interesting if you have all day. But as the test illustrated, searches can be very time consuming and even a little frustrating if you've "got no game."

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