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Benjamin Franklin Gets His Own Search Engine

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News from Clusty this morning that they have launched a new "specialty search database" to mark the 300th Bithday (his tecentenary) on January 17th of one American history's most important, most interesting, and most dynamic figures, Benjamin Franklin. The new site can be accessed and searched at: http://ben.clusty.com.

This type of focused tool is not only interesting and useful for history buffs and researchers but its use in schools as an educational resource is also worth highlighting.

The database includes a "crawl of hand-curated general web resources on Ben Franklin and hand-curation of Teacher resources." As I've said MANY times, the search community needs to do more to help educators and I'm happy to see Clusty stepping up. To build the site, Clusty received support from the National Science Foundation and Pennsylvania Commonwealth Libraries.

The site is also another example of the power of metasearch as Ben.clusty.com pulls material from various sources.

According to Vivisimo/Clusty CEO, Raul Valdes-Perez, the Ben Franklin search engine includes:

+ indexing of his autobiography and other writings by paragraphs
+ search of his proverbs and timeline of his life
+ general web/image search limited to Benjamin (or Ben) Franklin content, but not Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the MASH character, etc.

As an information publisher and compiler himself (he published Poor Richard's Almanack) I bet Ben would have loved the Internet, search, and the access it can provide to info. Franklin was also a one of the founders of America's first lending library.

One thing is for sure, being the wise man he was, Franklin would have stressed that critical info skills are a must when reviewing and reading what one finds on the web.


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