Finding Web Sites

Article excerpt

In the time it takes to read this sentence at least 100 more web sites will join the World Wide Web (WWW). Computer technicians, data processing types, and information junkies continue to design home pages and mount them in ever increasing numbers. Businesses, universities, professional societies, and individuals have jumped onto the Web.

Once you acquire a graphical WWW browser on your PC, you will immediately need Web addresses to explore. Any Internet address that starts with http:// means a Web site. As I discussed in my last column ["Internet Express: All Aboard for Mosaic," February 1995], these Web sites provide graphical hyperlinked views of Internet information.

With a Mosaic-type browser the user can navigate with a simple mouse click to any Web site and, from that Web home page, travel to other documents or sites linked to that display. Linked and click-able sites are shown by blue markings in the display. If you view with a monochrome monitor (Ugh!), you will see the linked sites as underlined text.

"Meta-Indexes"

This column will review some selected sites that offer to search the "entire" Internet for you. In some cases, these "meta-indexes" allow you to input key words, and then conduct a search over an enormous linked database for hits on the words you entered. In other cases, the home page allows a hierarchical, alphabetical, or map view of Internet sites, and invites the Internaut to click on any highlighted text to travel to that linked site. In fact, none of these sites search the "entire" Internet. In each case, tireless humans carefully compile and link the searchable database.

Here are the sites:

O'REILLY & ASSOCIATES INC WHOLE INTERNET GUIDE

http://gnn.interpath.net/gnn/wic/ index.html

Go to this Web site to see the linked Whole Internet Guide that I praised in my last column. You will see a multipaged list of Web sites grouped in broad categories: Education, Music, Computers, Business, Multimedia, Sports, etc.

Click on any blue or underlined text and you will connect to the designated hyperlinked site. O'reilly & Associates constantly adds, updates, and monitors listings to assure users click on a link with a valid address. Because of its comprehensiveness, this site can probably take care of most of your information needs.

LYCO'S HUNTING WWW INFORMATION

http://lycos.cs.cmu.edu

This search engine resides at Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Computer Science at Pittsburgh. You can input key words and click on the button labeled "SEARCH," and Lycos will search the text associated with its 1.53 million linked sites. The home page title might have your key word(s) found in the explanatory text associated with a clickable link on a home page. When Lycos presents you with a list of possible hits, the sites display ranked in terms of relevance. That means a Web site with a high frequency count of your word or phrase lists higher up on the retrieved list. You scan the list and click on any item that seems likely. Lycos will immediately pull in the linked home page for you to review.

Lycos represents a very productive way to find information your organization or clients need today. As you attempt to think of appropriate key words, however, remember to avoid broad general terms ("business") and go for more specific words that describe your topic ("stock market quotes").

WEBCRAWLER FROM WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

http://webcrawler.cs.washington.-edu/ WebCrawler/WebQuery.html

Webcrawler from the University of Washington in Seattle's Department of Computer Science and Engineering provides a delightful place to help you find that hidden gem on the World Wide Web. By the way, you must use the exact upper and lower case letters in the address above or you will not connect. Again you input key word(s) in a search box. A tiny box next to the search box, labeled "and" shows an `X.' If you click on the `X,' you can enable or disable the "Boolean AND factor," very important when you input a multi-word phrase. …