Sunday, February 9, 2014

Internet Search Activity

Hello Everyone,

Below I am going to be completing the requirements for my "Internet Search Activity" for the Distance Education course.  We have been asked to compare two different search engines who are in the top 10 most used, that aren't Google.  I have chosen to compare the results of "Duck Duck Go" (6th Place) and "Scrub the Web" (7th Place).  I decided to use the search term "Gamification" because it is a subject that I'm very interested in my Masters program.  Below I have documented my search process.

Duck Duck Go
A very simple website design.

I searched the term "Gamification" and below you can see the top results of my query.

Scrub the Web

I searched the same term, "Gamification," just like in my previous search using Duck Duck Go.
Apparently I have to prove that I'm not a robot to search a term.

Analysis of Search
After completing my search using both "Duck Duck Go" and "Scrub the Web" I ended up with completely different results from both search engines.  I also felt that the user experience was completely different while using the two search engines and I can see why Google utilizes the technologies that it does in sorting out search results.

Duck Duck Go was a very easy to use website where it was completely obvious where I was supposed to place my search terms.  The search results popped up very quickly with no lag time.  The top 10 results were from different webpages, which included; various wikis, organization sites, companies, and news articles.  The other interesting element is that the search results were on an infinite scroll list, meaning that as I scrolled down, more and more results appeared without having to click anything.

Scrub the Web was a completely different user experience for me and I didn't end up with very good search results, in my own opinion of course.  I will be honest in that it was my first time using the search engine and I had to look around the webpage for about a minute or so before I even realized where to place my search term.  There was so much stuff on the main page that I felt like I was being distracted by news updates, poor layout, member sign ins, and site searches.  The other aggravating element of this search was that I had to prove that I wasn't a robot by typing a random set of letters and numbers.  I'm not and never have been a fan of this method of user authentication.  My results, the important part of all of this, were very interesting.  I did not end up with a single carry over from the top 10 list that Duck Duck Go generated.  The other element that was interesting was that 3/10 results came from the same website and were just different pages on that webpage.  To me, this did not give the kind of results I would be looking for when beginning a search.

Out of the two search engines, I would maybe return to Duck Duck Go in the future, however I could not see myself returning to Scrub the Web.  Again, all of this is in my own opinion and experience and neither gave me results that would change my behavior right now in using Google for my searches.

Boolean Search
What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning environments?

University that provides an answer to the above question:  University of Northern Iowa - Rod Library

Non-scholarly website that provides an answer to the above question:  Mindflash

I found that using the Boolean method of searching, provided me with better search results.  Better yet, using a peer reviewed article/book/resource search engine such as UNISTAR gave me peer reviewed results.  This is something that I will try to engrain into my behavior when I use various search engines in the future.

Thank you for reading my blog post, let me hear your feedback in my comments!

Jeremy Cooper

Murat, O., Daniel, Z., Clare, B., & Jim, H. (n.d). Exploring asynchronous and synchronous tool use in online courses. Computers & Education, 6087-94. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.08.007

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