Version 6.12, August 2004
[lore: collective knowledge or learning
on a particular subject] That's exactly what you will find
here: various web searching "lores"
(Note that the plural "lores" does not actually
exist in the english language: I have made it up myself for reasons
that are explained elsewhere)
I have opened my www.searchlores.org,
in Oz, in February 2000.
Searchlores seems fairly popular: I receive
on my main site alone an average of (around) a million hits per month,
without counting the (many) hits on mirrors like www.searchlore.org in the States
the missing "s" after lore), or
www.fravia.com in Europe, or the other existing ones.
per 2004 some sections of searchlores - as you will notice - are still missing, in fieri or incomplete. This section as well:
chaotic and incomplete, its purpose should be to give an idea of the variety and richness of our searching techniques. Maybe
all these introductions are useless, and you would be better served reading some small specific essays, like the seven
"Learning to transform questions into
effective queries" that I wrote in 2003.
Please note that you will not find any advertisements whatsoever
on my sites: no banners to click on, no sponsors to promote, nothing.
I don't need your money: I need your own knowledge, I need your feedback. My only hope is that you will, one beautiful day,
contribute yourself to the vast wealth of knowledge.
Some part of this site are getting obsolete, though: you will have to learn how to evaluate
the material you find on the web. One relatively 'ancient' section is this very
introduction. In 2000 for instance, when searchlores began, google was still in its infancy and the search
engine of choice was still altavista. This does not mean that
you should now only use google, teoma or
fast (considered nowadays the best search engines): Smaller
search engines, like hotbot can reserve interesting surprises, and offer
the possibility to search through powerful advanced filters, which let you
pinpoint precisely what you want: domain search,
region search, language search, words to include and words to
exclude and so on.
An old introduction to web-searching
the sublime art"
(by ~S~ fravia+ 2000)
The web is uncharted and deep. At the time of writing this snippet of mine
there are supposed to
exist well over 1.500 million indexable pages, expanding exponentially.
is an underestimation: nobody really knows how many there are. The "richest"
search engine covers at the moment
only approximately less than a third of
the existing total (In January 2000 Fast (alltheweb), with 300 millions pages,
overtook Altavista and its 250 millions pages). The most "rich" search engine at
the moment covers far less than a third of the existing total: May 2000:
With 500 million pages the Inktomi powered
engines did overtook Altavista (leaving it at
350 million pages) and Fast. Note that search engines will boast that they
'selected' a smaller amount of pages, and in reality have visited many
more (a dual number approach now in vogue to cover search engines
shortcomings :-) Fact is that their coverage is - even in the best
and most optimistic hypothesis - meagre.
As you will see, there are different ways to search the web for nuggets among
piles of commercial rubbish, "simple"
methods but also other, less simple, paths. There are various possible 'strategic' approaches:
You search yourself - searching
using the main search engines
You search people that have already searched - luring, trolling, combing
You follow seekers to where they come from - luring, trolling, klebing
You discover, enter and use "hidden" information databases - seeking, hacking
You write and use YOUR OWN searchbots and let them search for you -
Note also that the PREPARATION
phase (topic), the EVALUATION
phase and the
(grepping) phase of each query are quite important "lores" per se.
You are embarking here on a very long voyage, at the end
you'll be what I would like to call, lacking a better definition, a good seeker.
As a consequence you will
probably be able to find anything you may ever being looking for on the web.
Be warned! This knowledge will inter alia make you quite a dangerous person.
realize this perusing my site, if you didn't know it already.
This possibility is at the same time
the very reason for the existence of this site of mine:
Indeed I'll try to teach and explain you some of the main
necessary techniques and tricks used by able (and even some "master") seekers
all over the web, but
at the same time I'll do my best to (try to) keep you safely on that what I
believe should be a "knowledge path".
My hope is that once in possession of this knowledge, you will remain on our side,
helping us spread knowledge for free in a quickly disappearing web of knowledge,
which has unfortunately been almost stomped to death by a web infested
by those commercial barbarians that you will now find everywhere, zombies and
lackeys of the slave-masters who
use their sharp (and dangerous) horns of pushed
advertisement and money
in order to loot, rape and ultimately destroy all minds seeking knowledge.
For these reasons some sections of my site are dedicated to matters that
I consider quite relevant for any good searcher:
[Best browser] (your tool and "weapon") for effective searching purposes (certainly not Microsoft Explorer)
Some simple [site busting] lore, which will come handy when you are
by commercial spammers and/or porno advertisers and dealers.
Anyway you are a host: you are not compelled to read or do anything I wish.
It is up to you and you'll decide. I offer some
knowledge for free, choose, pick, refuse whatever you
will. My hope is that
some of you
will help and contribute with their own work. I'm aware of the
fact that there is no guarantee, though,
An older introduction to web-searching (Websearching, the sublime art,
by fravia+ 1997)
I see it coming... in a few years (actually already now, even if most zombies
not yet realized it) one of the most important jobs will be, of course, websearcher.
We'll have many specialized branches: web-searchers, web-stalkers, web-seekers and so on. Zen and 'feeling' as
well as a very broad 'global' knowledge will be required.
It's a good antidote to the hyperspecialisation that has nearly brought the whole
silly commercial oriented society we are compelled to live in into a well deserved
dead end: only large-minded, capable searchers will be able to keep the 'larger'
over-perspective, and will be able to
find ANYTHING they need (for free, of course), from Vivaldi's Concerto n.7 in F for four
violins and cello
(it's on the Web) through the second edition of the Police Criminelle, Technique
et Tactique (it's on the Web) to A Western Australian survival kit for writing English (it's
on the Web). For the first time in the history of humanity, as long as you have
web access it DOES NOT MATTER ANYMORE (for knowledge purposes)
if you are located in a big rich city with huge
libraries, good universities and a smart cultural life or if you happen
to live in the middle of nowhere in a very poor country! The dream of the lighthouse guardian
is now reality!
EVERYTHING is on the Web for free! I mean: any book, any newspaper, any university
paper and any image, moreover (soon)
any sound, any
music, any film! This means that - amidst
mountains of useless garbage - ALL ACCUMULATED KNOWLEDGE is on the Web,
free for you to discover and enjoy! If you still don't believe it,
just learn how
to search, you are in for some surprises!
So, what is a good searcher?
good searcher is the kind of guy that can gather
in a couple of hours all
the material you need to write that nasty University Paper it would have took you
at least three
months to put together! (You still have to write that thing, though :-)
A good searcher is the kind of guy that -given half a dozen computers and stable
internet access- can solve any librarian problem for any (and wherever located!)
middle sized town! (it remains to be seen if middle sized towns are really interested
in solving 'any librarian problem', though :-)
A good searcher is the kind of guy YOU will need very oft and
very badly during the next years - that is,
unless you learn the sublime art of searching yourself! (and that's the purpose
my site: a small contribution to form the next generation of wizard searchers :-)
I sincerely hope you will be able to gain here some
very handy knowledge, that I believe
you will not easily
find elsewhere. Anyway, I'm sure that the development of the Web (or at
least of the still existing
'sound' part of it, neither commercialised nor brainwashed :-) will more
and more underline the importance of these activities.
This whole endeavour is a 'living' workshop, of course, which
will flourish gathering
more and more additions from my readers (I sincerely hope that some
"real" wizard searcher will join my efforts :-) Hope to hear from you,
and receive contributions from many searchers. Remember: we'll gain a lot
only if we will be able to build on the shoulders of others, letting them
build on our ones... if you
just leech, you lose and we all lose at the same time!
Oddities and reversing spammers
As you probably already know the various advanced techniques you may
use in order to search the web amount to a difficult and
If you visit the various ad hoc pages for the main.htm search engines, you will
be able to study some of their specific 'quirks'.
Some quirks are
due to the specific algorithms that the search engines use. Searching is still
far from being a completely understood science. There is an 'art' aspect (a 'lore'
aspect IMO) that plays a role, as you'll see more often than not.
The imperative of preparing a good advanced query notwithstanding, all
searchers like to try a few "quick searches" to test a search engine or a
query idea. This happens continuously on our messageboards. Thus oddities are found.
Typing in a few terms into a blank box and seeing what comes up can be great fun, since
every now and then, sifting through a pile of less relevant material, you may even
find some truly
interesting results. More often, something appears that makes you wonder
where it came from. These 'odd' results are at times worth investigating per se,
since they can help you to reverse engineer the algos used by the main search engines.
Here some quick masks for the three best search engines:
(c) III Millennium:
reserved, reversed, deserved, revered, revealed and reviled