Knowledge Handler

Information Sources & Information Sifting Techniques

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Location: Independence, Ohio, United States

Librarian at Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland Education Center.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Today I discovered a nifty blog on information searching, I found a nice list of 100 search tools, and I found the news about Google voice search there as well.

Google Voice Search

Google is now providing 411 service to cell phone users who call 800-GOOG-411. The free service is a nifty idea, though I am unsure how the company will profit from the product. The computer-generated results were easily obtained, though the voice quality and result content was imperfect. I did two searches:
  1. My search for "dentists" in Berea provided a list of eight results, but did not include my friend Dr. Basalla. It appears that if you rank below eight with Google search, you will never be heard via GOOG411.

  2. My search for "Universities, Independence, Ohio" had the lead result being a technical school ten miles away from Independence, an entry for another Independence University, and then the admissions office for Indiana Wesleyan (my employer). The academic number for IWU was never given, and several public schools in other communities made the results list.

After your search retrieves a useful result, the voice menu allows one to request "details" (street address and phone number) or to be connected to the associated phone number.
In summary, 800GOOG411 appears to be a large scale experiment with audio search, a technology that I predict will become increasingly important.