06 December 2006

Searching for a strategy

Check out this from John Udell. It's a very interesting post about searching and how we all go about finding what we're looking for.

A friend of mine always used to say I had a knack for getting to the right article. I'm not sure about that, it's certainly easier when you're familiar with the subject matter, or if it's searching within a site, knowing how they arrange and title their documents.

After a while of using it, I used to find the right article on Veritas technical support quite easily. However, I've been using PTC technical support site for years and it's still hit and miss, sometimes enter a specific error message and you get no results, other times you'll get 500+ results and even more occasionally you'll get what you're looking for. I think part of the problem here is the inconsistency in their documents, what chance have you got if there are typos and inaccuracies in the data you're searching. I suppose that's why I find searching the web much easier, on average typos will be insignificant when there is more that one document containing the information you're looking for. When you're limited to a specific site, where there may be only 1 document with relevant information, your success depends on their data integrity.