Last issue, we looked at how to use search engines to find useful material on the Internet, and in particular how much better they work when you make your search terms very specific. However. sometimes it's not possible to be precise about what you want. What if I want to find some general background material, for example, about 17th Century Russia?
This is where directories come into their own. Directories work on a tree-like structure You start by clicking on broad subject areas, narrowing down from one branch to the next, until you find the precise area that interests you. In theory
To find material on 17th Century Russia, I went to Yahoo, the best known general directory, at http://www. yahoo.com/, only to find that History isn't even mentioned Lateral thinking suggested I tried Arts, and from there I clicked on Humanities, found History (at last), then European History From here I linked to Russia.
Yahoo works in three different ways. As well as clicking on the subject menus, …