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Learning is what you do for yourself

Education is what people do to you, learning is what you do to yourself.

From an amazing talk by MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito at TED 2014. 

What are the Primary Types of Search Engines and How Do They Work?

There are several different types of search engines on the Internet. You will search better if you learn about them and how they work. You get better results if you can recognize what type of search engines you encounter, and are then able to make the best use of them.

True Search Engines

A search engine is a Web site that is home to a specialized software program that helps you find relevant information.

“True” search engines do not search the Internet every time you enter a search term. The search engine program visits Web sites all over the Internet every so often, say once a month, and creates what is called an “index,” a big vast snapshot of the pages it has visited.

When you enter a search word, the program then searches out all references to that search word in the index of the web sites it has visited. If it finds the search word, it brings back the Web site address, the universal resource locator, or URL for short.

True search engines include Google and Bing.

Each of these big automated search engines has four basic parts:

  1. A “robot” or “spider” of some sort that automatically collects links, titles, and text from Internet sites at a certain frequency established by the people who own and manage the engine.

    What this means is that each search engine is using its own specific set of criteria to decide what kinds of information to include in its database (see below), so each search engine you use can bring back different kinds of information, even when you use the exact same search terms.
  2. A database where the collected information is stored and maintained.

    All the information that the spiders or robots bring back is dumped into a database from which your queries will be drawn. The more frequently the spiders are sent out, the fresher the information in the database will be.
  3. An index where the collected information is cataloged for queries and retrieval. The people who own and manage the engine also establish the index. So, when you enter search terms the search engine will give you results that are listed according to the particular engine’s own ranking system. Using the same search terms, each search engine can bring up a slightly different list of results because each uses a  different set of criteria to determine the ranking or relevance of sites.
  4. A search tool that allows the user to ask the database index for relevant sites.

Thus, when you do a search at a search engine, you actually do no search the Web, but rather you query the search engine’s index of the Web. Using its index saves you time and makes the search process manageable.

All indexes collect large numbers of links, and this is both a benefit and a problem.

On the plus side, a large number of Web sites will be identified when you do a search. This will give you a complete set of data on what is out there on the Internet.

On the down side, it is very difficult to read through all the Web sites returned, and many, many of them will have little or no true relevance to your search.

How Are We Going to Learn?


How we get the knowledge we need to survive and improve has changed over the past few years.

What do people read, watch and listen to when they seek knowledge for learning? How do they experience new things and acquire knowledge?

Before the Internet, physical presence was required, and you received information from the following sources:

  • Mail: Letters
  • Phone: Telephone
  • Print: Newspapers & Magazines
  • Electronic: Radio Shows & TV shows
  • Paper: Pamphlets, Brochures, Papers, Books, Manuals
  • Recordings: Records, Tapes, Videos
  • Schools and Libraries: Classes and Workshops
  • Work: On-the-Job training, Workplace, Seminars, Meetings
  • Professional: Conferences

 In the post-Internet period, technology has advanced so that physical presence is no longer required; Attention, time and commitment is all that is required.

You can receive knowledge and information from the following sources:

  • All the above plus
  • Internet counterparts to all the above
  • Email
  • Web pages, Blogs & RSS
  • News Web sites, Virtual Libraries, Virtual Directories, Virtual Databases
  • Streaming Web Sites
  • Search Engines, News Search Engines, Specialty Search Engines
  • Podcasts & Video
  • Ebooks
  • Online Training, Online Degree Programs
  • Teleconferences, Web Seminars,
  • Social media & networks

The Meaning of the Presari Fermata


The icon in the Presari logo is called a fermata. defines it as follows:

Music. 1. the sustaining of a note, chord, or rest for a duration longer than the indicated time value, with the length of the extension at the performer's discretion. 2. a symbol placed over a note, chord, or rest indicating a fermata.

Basically, this is when the a performer is given the choice to hold a note and keep playing it as long as he or she likes. It is an opportunity to be personally creative in the instant.

The performer creates and performs, as long as it feels good.  

This is what people get to do with knowledge. They get to hold it in their hands and play with it. They can and should do so as long as it feels good.

Children play to escape and live in the moment, often times to do what they love and enjoy life in what may otherwise be an overly orchestrated stress filled existence.

Searching and learning from what you discover feeds observational curiousity.

Mindful seeing leads to inspiration which triggers creativity and results in innovation.

Nowadays, searching online mindfully is often times the most essential way to learn and acquire knowledge. It forms the very foundation of personal experience and knowledge. 

What you do with knowledge is determined by how long you play with it. 

When you find a new piece of knowledge, play that note for as long as you like. Sing with it, bash it, work with it, move with it. 

Place the fermata over your mind and hold that note for as long as it feels good. 

Who knows, maybe other people will like what you play. 

Finding the best information on the Internet


The key to getting the best information is:

  1. to know which questions to ask
  2. which key words to use
  3. then you need to move freely between the best sources of information looking to find the right match that really addresses your particular needs.

Most people want answers to questions.  

Most experts write answers using specialized language, based on the science or language that is customarily used in that particular field of endeavor.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Can the problem owner understand the person who has the best answer?


To Future Proof Your Business - Search!

To future proof your business. Search.

1. Give people search. Give yourself and your employees better access to the technologies that your customers are using.  Make sure they learn how to use these technologies.

2. Learn how to search. Become more familiar with what search and search technology gets you access to. There are hundreds of search engine enabled sources of specialized information.  Get familiar with the media and sources that are important to your business or purpose.

3. Search frequently. Learn how to identify, recognize, analyze, and leverage critical intelligence that is available to improve everything youi do. Empower your people to access insights and fresh perspectives that can be found. Give them incentives to recognize and develop strategies to leverage new information and use it to improve the performance of your efforts, identify and remedy shortcomings and improve and optimize the quantity and quality of what you do and deliver.

4. Utilize search. Make it one of the primary ways you actively use it for continuous education in your chosen field and every aspect of it that makes a difference to you. Akkow and encourage people to use search to diversify what they know.  Invest and support your people improve their own lives.

5. Build greater trust.  Feed your people what they love so they are empowered and encouraged to not only reap the benefits of the knowledge, but share the critical intelligence they acquire to help others succeed as well. This is perhaps the most powerful professional branding tactic so you utilize to survive and outcompete others in the world around us.  

6. Share knowledge freely and frequently.  Give your people better ways to share the right questions and identify the right sources for the answers.

Just remember to question what you find and make sure it meets your needs. Qualify the source. Validate the utility.

Read with a pen on your hand. When you find something worthy, assign yourself the action to turn it into something good.

Then do it.  Do it and do it some more.  

Know what you are looking at

There are now hundreds of search engines and you need to be able to recognize they type of search engines you encounter. 

There are:

Major search engines include the most popular or important services from all over the world. They are generally commercial sites that are very well-maintained, and many will contain both search engines and directories you can browse.

Paid listings search engines where listings are bought and sold (e.g., companies pay to be high on the return search list).

Reward search engines offer cash, prizes, or other goodies to those who use them.

News search engines search for the latest news stories from carefully selected media information sources on the Web. These services can provide exceptionally good results for current event searching because they will spider only the news sites once or twice a day. Thus, the results are unusually focused and up-to-date.

Specialty search engines are available to help you find more than just Web pages and Web sites. Here are search engines that will search through specialized search engines, newsgroups, directories, specialized search databases, mailing lists, software catalogs, and more.

Kids search engines are usually more like “safe havens,” directories maintained by people who carefully select sites to serve the beneficial interests of children. They cover things that kids really enjoy and they carefully exclude sites that parents and teachers might find inappropriate for kids, such as those that deal with explicit sexual matters, pornography, violence, hate speech, gambling, and drug use.

Metacrawlers allow searches to be sent to several search engines all at once. The results are then combined and returned on one or more pages for convenient viewing, with duplicates eliminated, ranked in order of importance, or by relevance, with regard to your search string.

Desktop search utilities are software programs that let you search the Internet or a cloud enabled storage system from your desktop.

Search engines come is all shapes and sizes. They act as the gatekeepers to knowledge developed and even curated by individuals, schools, colleges, and universities, non-profit, social and professional organizations, government agencies and media of all types.

Learn the differences. Know what they are capable of doing.

The key to success is knowing how to search


The key to success is knowing how to search

Search, Find, Match, Apply.

Do you want to improve at something?  Do you want your business or organization to survive and thrive in the world of the near future?

Search, Find, Match, Apply.

Get online. Do a search. Find something that can help you. Take action.

Use search technology to learn and get more familiar with it.

Search online and find out what people are using and doing. 

In the face of uncertainty and ignorance, what will help you the most? Knowledge.

Search. Pick a topic. Any topic. Study it every which way you can.

How do you find good knowledge these days? Search technology. Print technology, including books and magazines, contain information that is often outdated often times by the time they go to print. The most current and the best information is digital -- knowledge is published online in articles, blogs, feature stories, white papers, infographics, videos, and other formats.

They are found in on web sites, blogs, in libraries, databases, directories, catalogs, and many other types of documents in an ever-increasing array of formats.

You have access to computers, laptops, software, smart phones – an amazing array of devices that allow you to focus energy and attention on nearly every aspect of the time and work and processes you are involved with in every possible way.

But you must learn to use search engines to make use and leverage what is out there to be had.

Most of the information you need comes from outside your own organization or knowledge base.  It is necessary to teach people search skills and to offer them opportunities to get trained and become more fluent in search technology.

We work online, we live online, and we have become and will continue to become increasingly dependent on digital information.  The ways people get and stay tech savvy has evolved.

And today it all revolves around search engines.

Everybody who thinks of the word “search” equates it to Google. To Google something means to search and find out something about it. 

But there’s more to life than Google. Tech savvy leaders know that there are many types of search engines.  The explosion of the Internet and the knowledge contained on web sites has resulted in the proliferation of search engines – word portals that allow people to access and use the content inside the giant warehouses that have been created. 

If you are going to live in the world of tomorrow. You need to know how to search.


How to get better at anything and everything


Continuous improvement comes down to doing doing just two things:

  1. Learn something new 
  2. Improve what you are doing right now

Then repeat these two things. 

Try it. 

Focus on your next meal. 

  1. Search on gourmet salad dressing recipes.  Pick a new recipe.
  2. Make a salad with the new recipe. 

This simple process can be used in every aspect of your life. 

This story was shared on Facebook today. 

Husband: What's the matter?

Wife: Just trying to wrap my head around things.

Husband: Don't try. It's too big. It just hurts your head. Just wrap your arms around me.

Wife: (hugging him) That's the best part. That's the best part of life.

Husband: For me, too. That's the part that makes sense.

Wife: (kissing his neck)

Husband: (laughing) On the lips!

Try it! It works!