I'm sitting in for Chris Sherman today. Like everyone else, I'm still stunned from the images and events that shook the United States yesterday. I sincerely hope that you and those you know came through unscathed.
Many people are turning to search engines to get the latest news and information about the disasters. The tips below are designed to help you find relevant information more easily.
These tips are excerpted from a longer article, a link to which is below, that covers how search engines coped with the disaster.
Finding Disaster Coverage At Search Engines
SearchEngineWatch.com, Sept. 11, 2001
Following the unprecedented terrorist attacks on the United States today, web users turned en masse to search engines for information. It took those services some time to adjust to the demand, but as the day progressed, many came up to speed. Both an analysis and tips on locating information. The tips from this story are also below:
If you are seeking coverage of the terrorist attacks, you are best directed to use special news search engines. A link to a list of them is below, and they are listed roughly in order of most usefulness.
If you are seeking web sites related to the attacks, such as special survivor or assistance sites, general purpose search engines probably won't get you to them. This is because it takes time for them to update their listings, anywhere from days to weeks, depending on the search engine.
Instead, depend on news sites to get you to disaster web sites. They will all have articles and resource lists that are constantly being updated. And, to find news sites and news articles, use the news search engines.
For example, going to AltaVista's news site, a search for "blood donations" brings up 12 different articles about blood donation requests related to the bombings. In contrast, the same search against AltaVista's regular results -- or at Google -- brings up relevant sites about blood donations in general but not relevant to the current disaster.
For finding web sites -- such as the Red Cross or CNN -- using a "regular" search engine is just fine. Most will direct you to these, though you may find actually connecting to your destination site may be difficult due to the high traffic they are receiving.
Do keep in mind that how these sites are described -- and other sites -- may seem odd or completely ignorant of the disaster. This is again because it takes time for the search engines to update their information and because it also generally depends on the sites themselves to make updates.
Because of this, searches for things like "world trade center" will probably still reflect web sites that talk about tourism or perhaps the bombing from 1993, rather than today's attacks. That will change over the coming weeks, as the search engines get updated.
Regular search engines are no good when you need breaking news. Instead, news search engines offer far more current information. The resources listed bring back headlines from a wide range of sources and are updated many times throughout the day.
Major Search Engines
These are major "general purpose" search engines, many of which were mentioned above. If you use them to seek news, look closely at their home pages for guidance. Don't just head straight to the search box. However, you should really use the news search engines above, for the best coverage.
Where to Find Current Disaster Information
About.com Web Search Guide, Sept. 11, 2001
Guide to many resources, especially disaster relief ones, related to the terrorist attacks.
Tragedy Results in Web News Gridlock
InternetNews.com, Sept. 11, 2001
Explains the difficulties in reaching many major news sites. Because of this, consider using a news search engine to find relevant articles at smaller news services. Many of them will have high quality coverage just like the major sites, due to wire service distribution -- and you'll be able to reach them.
Web acts as hub for info on attacks
News.com, Sept. 11, 2001
More about how the web is providing information to those seeking it about the attacks and disaster relief. Lots of links to chat areas and important web sites.
Ordinarily a resource for Internet and tech coverage, the staff of InternetNews.com -- many based in New York -- have scrambled to provide coverage of the disasters.
Has a special report on how people have been searching for terrorism coverage. If this no longer appears, look at archive area.
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| Finding Disaster Coverage At Search Engines... |
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ZDNet Sep 12 2001 9:23AM GMT
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