Research Assignment: One Search Engine, One Blog, One Website

18 Feb

The search engine I researched was www.ask.com. Ask.com, formerly Ask Jeeves, used to be a tough competitor with Yahoo! And Alta Vista, but once Google came out it sort of lost its steam. Still, there’s no indication that the website has diminished in value or credibility. To start, the opening page looks similar to Google and allows you to do many things, from searching the web, looking for pictures, a detailed map of the country, news, and blogs are available. I typed in my name and was surprised to find an article that I wrote as the second thing to pop up. Usually on Google one or two of my articles will pop up, but only a few options down. Never that high up. I’m not sure why it would come up sooner on ask.com. I then typed in a band and was able to find their official website, options for tickets to their shows, and tons of other websites related to the band. This site definitely has reliable information and can be trusted.

The blog I checked on was Travel Reader from www.gonomad.com. I used to write this blog when I interned for GoNOMAD, so I’m pretty certain that it’s a reliable source. Now a new intern is writing it, but she’s still following the same pattern. The writer finds a cool sample of travel writing somewhere on the web, usually from a newspaper like The Boston Globe or The New York Times, and will share a clip from the article. A little analysis of the article might even be given. Because this blog isn’t attempting to make any claims or do any investigative reporting, it can be trusted to be reliable. There is also a link to the original article built into the post.

The website I checked was www.greenplastic.com, a website devoted to the band Radiohead. This website has information on tours and album releases, as well as a biography on the band and lyrics to the songs. You can access pretty much anything you would want about the band here, and you can even buy merchandise. One of the biggest questions that would come up here is how can you be sure that the biographical information and lyrics are correct. The only way would be cross referencing it with information from another website like www.vh1.com or www.mtv.com. However, because this website has a high Google ranking and is considered the official unofficial website for the band, it’s safe to say that the information is correct. Also, the lyrics can be cross referenced with a number of other websites, as well as the inside jackets from CD cases. Other information like album releases and tour dates can be confirmed from various other sources, so it’s safe to assume that this website has gotten their information from a good source. This website also receives press releases from the band, so that information comes directly from the source. Because this is a site designed by fans for fans, people can also send in comments and corrections if they notice something is wrong. The information will obviously be checked, but if it is proven to be correct, the website will be updated.

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