Header Row 1
Topbar Area
Sticky Row 1

Tag: searching

Searching online for an original source

While we’re on the subject of web searches… Sometimes I need to find the original source of a quote or news story (for example, that has been used without attribution or simply plagiarized by a blog). I’ve found that the easiest way is to use a randomly selected phrase from the source in hand that is long enough to be unique. So for example, if I found this quote somewhere online without attribution (or if the attribution was a blog that referenced another blog and so on): Lt. Brett Parson, who heads the D.C. police special liaison unit, said “Just like in heterosexual domestic cases,...

More on using proper nouns for searching

Reviewing my last entry, I see that literal-minded readers may think that I’m saying that using a city name and last name are usually the best query terms. Not at all. Sometimes, if a last name is very unusual, that’s all you need. Often a first and last name together in quotes (or with a dash between them) is enough. (Although watch out for criminals, who for legal reasons are often identified with their middle name or initial.) If the first and last name are common (as in the case of ‘Larry King’), then throwing in a city name will help narrow it down. Other...

Searching online to supplement what you know

One task I often need to accomplish is supplementing a little bit of information I have in hand (a news tip, a blog entry, an offhand reference, a quote, a news brief) with much more detailed information (a full newspaper write-up, an earlier news clipping, a script from our own archives). This can be hard to do if you don’t know how to formulate the right query for an online search… or it can take mere seconds if you do. If you’re looking for a recent news story, then Google News is the right place to start. If you’re looking for general information or an...