Old tyme search

It wasn’t that long ago when we called location-based search ‘looking it up in the Yellow Pages’. And a new business that happened to miss a printing deadline would be shut out of a year’s worth of potential finds.

Now, when our fingers do the walking they’re probably on a keyboard.

Mine were recently when I was trying to find a 10 month old article with some data I needed.  I wasn’t sure of the pub date, but I knew the outlet and reporter. Yet after several different permutations of search terms on Google and the media site, I came up empty-handed. And then, of course, I started to doubt my recollection because it wasn’t validated online.

Now, this may seem quaint, but I still clip stories I like from newspapers and magazines and keep them in file folders. They’re sorted in rough chronological order; rough, that is, because if I take out a clip, I’ll usually return it to the front of the file.  Not exactly scientific, but it works.

I was pretty sure I had the article, so I started leafing through the papers and sure enough found it in a couple of minutes.  Then, armed with details from the hard copy, I was also able to get it online.

And it made me realize that we’re so reliant on certain web 2.0 tools – which do a spectacular job in most cases. But old-fashioned searching (and library research, for that matter) – can be just as effective for finding results.

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3 thoughts on “Old tyme search

  1. I guess the computers in our brains are not as good at remembering things as actual computers. I have sometimes bookmarked articles of interest so that I might look at them later but when I go to view them, they no longer exist so I guess a hard clipping is the only way to guarantee it will be there when you need it. So much for the paperless office

  2. Locating newspaper articles can be a difficult task, especially if they are from awhile ago. To solve this problem, a consulting firm I recently worked at specializing in strategic branding, created an online library accessible to all employees. The library consisted of online magazine articles, newspaper articles and advertisements. Some of these items we would even have to clip out of hard copy print sources, scan and then save to the Library drive. The online library proved to be a very useful resource and would be an alternative to clipping or bookmarking.

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