Category Archives: Searching

Free Email Address Sources

The UltimateE-Mail Directory

Large E-Mail Directories

The Virtual Chase: Finding E-Mail Addresses

Dennis Miles
Public Services Librarian
Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library
Southeastern Oklahoma State University


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Google Maps – good business research tool

Continuing the trend of finding useful informational sources on the open Web, here’s a timely tip about using Google Maps from Bates Information Services.

Uses for Google Maps go beyond the ‘I’m here, get me there’ search and can be very helpful, particularly in business searches.

You can discover the number of business types in an area, what companies are located in a building, or find out more information about a particular company.

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Backgrounding checklist

Here is a checklist for backgrounding, using the Internet.  It’s from the Palm Beach Post.

There are sites for Personal Background, Civil/Criminal Courts, Elected/Public Officials and Business Background.

Right off the bat, I found something useful in the Personal Background section.  It is possible to determine what state an individual was born in if you have the first 3 digits of the Social Security Number. 

There are clip sites for stories that are free.  Some of the info is specific to Florida, but the checklist also gives advice for how to look for data outside of Florida.

While this doesn’t replace Lexis/Nexis which is an invaluable search tool, some papers these days are having to drop that service, so the open web can be very helpful.

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Filed under A. News reference, News reference, People, Public Records, reference, Searching, Tipsheets

Google Trends

I came across this NYT article  today in my Twitter account .  It’s about Google being able to predict flu trends around the country by analyzing search terms that people are using.  Fascinating. 

This led me to Google Trends, which allows you to look at search terms and see how often they are used geographically.  I was able to drill down to Pennsylvania and then on that results page, I got a listing of cities with indications of how popular the terms were.  Google Trends is updated daily.

However, also on the Google Trends page is something called Hot Trends.  This is updated hourly and lists the top ten on the front page with an option to look at more hot trends.  That second page lists all one hundred of the hot trends.  When you click on a trend, you get graphs and also news stories and blogs about that search term, to help you put it into perspective. Continue reading

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This is from Bates Information Services.

Searchme is an intriguing new attempt to make web research more like how we look for information in (gasp!) print resources. Its search results page is insanely intuitive, highly visual and yet easy for us text-oriented folks to use. Solely in terms of user-friendliness, Searchme is one of the best search engines I’ve seen. It also does a surprisingly good job at clustering results, and it has a nice feature for easily sharing web pages with others. Note that this site is in public beta, meaning that it is not in its final version, and some features and functions may change without notice. And it has indexed “merely” one billion pages, so it’s working with a significantly smaller index than, say, Google, which hit the one-billion-page mark way back in 2000.

You will notice the differences of Searchme as soon as you type in your search query. There is no “Search” button to click to initiate the search; Searchme starts finding and categorizing results as soon as you start typing. Type the letters S U and N, for example, and small icons appear below the search box with categories such as astronomy, astrology, computer programming, stocks, global warming and so on. Searchme has started retrieving results, sorting them on the fly, and presenting you with ways to slice and dice the results. (There is also a “Search All” icon, if you want to see all the results.) Different queries will have different categories – a search for “oil shale”, for example, generates results sorted in categories for geology, business news, mining, US government, alternative vehicle fuels, and so on. Continue reading

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Search tool for Wikipedia

This one comes from BatesTip, an info newsletter that I receive. 

The tool is called Powerset and specifically searches Wikipedia.  It’s especially strong in pulling together information that spans a number of Wikipedia articles.

I used it to search for “ancient Egypt” and got the main wiki article plus a large number of articles that could have taken me along several lines of inquiry.

Granted, Wikipedia is not a reliable source for newspaper articles on its own, but I’ve found it to be invaluable in pointing me towards information that is reliable. 


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Google can do that?

The following is from Bates Information Services: 

I recently spoke at the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey, CA and one of the presentations I enjoyed doing the most was on the hidden features of some of the major search engines. I have covered some of them in early Info-Tips, but the following are a few of my new Google favorites.

* Google lets you search for a range of numbers, in any format. To include a number range in your search query, type in the lower and upper numbers, separated by two periods – e.g., 15..50 I had a chance to try out this feature in a real-life search; I wanted to find a set of wireless headphones on costing between $50 and $100. I typed in the query
(wireless OR cordless) headphones $50..$99
and, sure enough, I retrieved a wide selection of wireless headphones within my price range.

Note that Google is smart enough to recognize decimal points – some of the items I retrieved weren’t an even dollar amount but were, for example, $57.83. This feature could also come in handy if you are looking for a mention of a range of years.

* Speaking of date-searching on Google, you can limit your search to only those pages added or changed within the past [whatever] days. This can be a useful feature if you re-run a search regularly; just limit your search to the pages added or modified since you last ran your search. You can do this not by adding text in the search box but by modifying the search results page URL by adding the following text to the end of the URL and clicking [Search]:
&as_qdr=dn (where n is the number of days you want searched)
So, for example, to limit my search to the last 18 days, I would add &as_qdr=d18 to the end of the search results page URL.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a perfect date-limiting search. Some web content management systems automatically refresh a web page frequently, without necessarily making any changes to the page. Those pages will have a recent date but the content within them may have been unchanged for months.

* If you are based in the US, you can search for local companies through your cell phone, regardless of whether or not your phone has web capability. If you call 1-800-GOOG411 (1-800-466-4411), you will be asked to say the city and state you want information on – Boulder, Colorado, for example – then you say the type of business or specific business name you want – for example, “book store” or “Barnes and Noble”. A text-to-speech program will read you the top eight results from its local search ( If you want, Google can automatically dial any of the first eight businesses’ phone number, or you can ask to have the address and phone number read to you.

You can also get quick answers to simple queries by texting Google from a US cell phone. Send a text message to 466 453 (GOOGLE) and then type your query in the text box and send it. Within seconds, you will receive a text message with one of Google’s Quick Answers. The default is for Google to take your query and attempt to find a Quick Answer. If you want a search of the web, put the word web at the beginning of your search, such as web avian flu. This will return you a text message with a snippet of the first search result, along with a link to mobile-formatted page of the search results. See for more information on this service.


“Can I publish or reproduce this InfoTip?” Be my guest. Just make sure you credit the source, Bates Information Services, and include the URL,

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