Monday, October 20, 2008

Searching for Information (essay #3)

With Web 2.0, social networking has almost become a “norm” amongst our society today. There are sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, to even sites like YouTube which enables users like you and I to personally update and post information for the public’s view. Cyworld is another one of the many social networking sites that are available. The website is pretty self explanatory. It is a web community where you can build your own cyber world as your personal homepage. It was first launched in South Korea (Cyworld in S. Korea) and has become very popular in a short period of time before making an expansion to the United States.

When researching this particular Web 2.0 tool, the first search engine I chose was Google. Anyone searching for any kind of information on the World Wide Web is quick to jump onto search engines such as Google to obtain what they are looking for. (Tenson, 2004). But hey, can we blame them? Google never seems to fail me while searching for something on the internet.

I began my search on Google with the keyword “cyworld.” The first result was the obvious, the link to the site itself. The second result was the infamous Wikipedia. However, the next result was what I found to be useful. It was an article from BusinessWeek. I knew this was a credible source because it was from a scholarly journal. The article began by talking about a student who is a member of the Cyworld community and began to go on about explaining what exactly Cyworld is and how it works.

From what seemed to be an infinite amount of results from a single keyword search, I was able to find some that were useful, as well as some that were not so useful. An interesting website I came across while browsing through the results was a website called Wikimedia Commons. It seemed to be a website just like Wikipedia, except this site revolved around photographs rather than information posted by the users. Though the result from Wikimedia Commons was not useful to my research, it was interesting to have come across it.

For the next search engine, I wanted to use one that was not as commercialized as Google or Yahoo. However, I am not familiar with many other search engines. So, of course I went on Google and searched “search engines.” It gave me a lot of results, many of them which I have never heard of. I chose to use a search engine called Mamma Metasearch – The Mother of All Search Engines. This time, I used the keyword “about cyworld.” The first two results were the same as Google’s results, the website itself and Wikipedia. The third result was from about social networking sites, which I was a bit skeptical about. It talked about the different sites like MySpace, Facebook, Cyworld, etc, etc. However, the only reason as to why I was not sure if it was a useful source to me was because this particular article was for the purpose of reading comprehension for those who use English as a second language. The next couple of results were the same ones I found on Google, except in a different order. So from searching on Mamma, I came to realize that adding “about” into my keyword search did not help me too much.

The next place I went to hunt for information about this particular Web 2.0 tool was a database from the UAlbany library website called COM Abstracts. Though the searches through the school’s library website is where I would be able to find the most information from a credible, scholarly source, I must say, that this is probably the last search engine I would choose to use when doing a search; especially if it is not required by my professor for me to use the library database. To switch things up a bit, I typed in “history of cyworld” into the search field. However, it did not bring me back a single result. So then I went back and once again, typed in “cyworld” into the search field. Surprisingly, I was only able to obtain one result from this search. From reading the abstract, it seemed as if this article will be helpful as well as credible. However, I was unable to obtain the full text version.

Having to write this essay about the process of my search on a particular topic has helped me think more in depth about searching for information on the WWW, as well as carefully determining whether or not a particular source is credible. Though there are countless numbers of search engines available to us, I am still convinced that Google is my number one choice when searching for something on the World Wide Internet.

Works Cited:

Tensen, Bonnie L. (2004). Research strategies for a digital age (chapter 5). Boston: Wadsworth.

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