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  ResearchBuzz News: January 18 - 24, 2001


The latest ResearchBuzz Wire is available at .

This Week In LLRXBuzz

This week in LLRXBuzz: track gas prices! A new option for science search engines! Find government honchos! And more. All the skinny that's fit to print is yours at .  

Clinton Materials to be Archived

There is already a site established to archive former US President Bill Clinton's computer materials generated during his tenure in the White House. The site is at .  

Obviously there's not a lot here right now, though there are snapshots of the old versions of Clinton's site (there were three of them) The site promises to have a project schedule available though there isn't one yet. This site is going to set the standard for archiving the materials of outgoing presidents. It's going to be very interesting to see what's established. 

Directory of Newsletters

Reader DC let me know about this directory of newsletters -- Newsletter Access at . The site lists over 5,000 newsletters which can be searched by keyword or title or browsed by category. 

Newsletter listings contain information like frequency, name and address of the publisher, etc. There were some strange omissions. For example, Andrew Goodman's monthly newsletter, Traffick, is listed on the site. However, his Web address and e-mail address or not. 

You may find some interesting materials here, but you may have to look to other sites to "fill in the blanks." 

Ancestry Hits One Billion

MyFamily/ announced yesterday that its online resource for genealogical research has reached one billion people across about 3,000 databases. To give you a point of comparison, in early 1999 they had information on approximately 200 billion people across 800 databases. You can read the press release about this at .  

Up In The Air, Junior Birdwoman

Speaking of specialized searchable subject indexes, the Women in Aviation Resource Center ( )  is a Yahooesque index devoted to -- you guessed it -- women in aviation. Categories include books, featured women, museums, and organizations. Link annotation varies (from good to none.) The site offers other information, like aviation-related headlines, a mailing list, and discussion forums. Worth a look. 


Google's Change of Ad-ittude

(I know I said I wouldn't cover so much business stuff, but no one else has mentioned this that I know of.) You may have noticed the product of Google's AdWords program -- small text ads to the right of Google's search results. They have changed that program from three text ads per result to eight text ads per result. I was not able to get any clear information on the pricing, but you can learn about the pricing program itself at .  (This page doesn't at this writing reflect the new eight-ad policy.) 

I admit I have been playing around with the idea of promoting ResearchBuzz using AdWords (hey, I gotta do something.) But to me this new policy -- and the thought of competing with seven other ads over on the right side of the screen -- cools my interest somewhat. 

(Hmm -- getting rid of their affiliate program, more than doubling their adwords slots -- guess the pressure is on everybody, public and private, to make money.) 

In other Google news, a developing story -- they're apparently blocking queries from sorting meta-search engine Vivisimo. I'll have more information on this hopefully tomorrow. 

Track New Additions to the ODP

One of my complaints about (the Open Directory Project) is that there's no way to get listings of new additions to the index (like there is with Yahoo.) 

Apparently I'm not the only one who has a problem with this, as Axie ( ) aims to provide those listings. After completing the free registration (and if you're looking for the privacy policy, it's buried in the About section) you'll be able to specify Boolean searches you want Axie to monitor. You can receive your weekly notifications of new sites in HTML or plain text, and there's an "adult block" which can help keep your search alerts free of inappropriate content. 

I haven't gotten an alert yet, so I can't speak to how the report looks, but I'm looking forward to seeing it. 


Last Week's News has been Archived

Google Torches Their Affiliate Program

First it was three cents, then it was one cent, now it's disappearing. Google's affiliate program will discontinue as of February 1. (See the page at: .) I asked Google about this and heard back from Cindy McCaffrey, VP of Corporate Communications at Google. She said, "Our business model has evolved since we launched the affiliate program, and we have much to do with limited resources. So, we have made a business decision to stick to our knitting: deliver the best search experience on the web. We're grateful to all who participated in the affiliate program, and we hope that they will continue to use Google." 

More Adventures in RSS Land

After I asked about it a couple of weeks ago, many readers sent me information on RSS/XML resources. Somebody, I think, sent me information on Headline Viewer. I got it confused with another resource and didn't look out it. Then last night I stumbled across it by accident and downloaded it. (

It -- well, the best way I can describe it is as a browser for RSS files. It allows you to look at the "headlines" for literally hundreds of different online resources (thousands if you import the RSS listings from Userland or another headline provider.) It's very easy to figure out; I was off and running within a few minutes of firing it up. I love programs that get you started easily and then as you use them show their possibilities. I haven't been this delighted with a program since Simon Carter's awe-inspiring TextPipe ( ). 

Headline Viewer is currently at version 0.95, and I did have a couple of problems with it (there were times when it was very sluggish; in fact I shut it down a couple of times when I thought it had crashed. I had probably just not waited long enough for it to respond.) If you are not comfortable installing pre-1 software, wait until the 1 release. Also, if you decide to import the Userland RSS listings, you will be playing with this program for HOURS. Make sure you've got a chunk of time set aside before you start going with it. 

Set 'Em Up, Knock 'Em Down (Bowling Search Engine)

I've covered other sports search engines in the past, so I'm pleased to cover one involved with the gentle art of bowling. The Bowling Zone ( ) is a searchable subject index with over 1150 links related to bowling. 

Categories include bowler supplies, tournaments, leagues, clinics and instructions, personal pages, and bowling variations (duckpins, etc.) Entries include site name, URL, description (the usefulness of the description varies), date added, number of "hits," number of people who have rated it, and its rating. This site is nicely designed (though I'd use a darker font against the white text) and loads quickly. Interesting bowling stuff here. Worth a look.


All original material on copyright Tara Calishain unless otherwise noted.