December 10, 2006
Del.icio.us was a useful tool this semester, not only for BIT200, but also for networking with classmates and gaining significant knowledge into the technology industry, both from a product-specific and financial standpoints. Our search strategy was somewhat varied, however, it centered around a three-pronged approach. We primarily utilized the following methods/venues in gathering information for our project:
- News Sites
- Del.icio.us terms searches
- A wide array of blogs on a variety of topics
Starting Out: Searching Broadly
At the project's onset, we tended to search in a rather unorganized fashion, typically running Google searches for relevant material. However, as we quickly learned better ways to apportion or time, we quickly gravitated toward news sites. These tended to offer timely and relevant announcements that aided us in our furhter searches. We explored a variety of news sites, but kept coming back to CNN's tech site, ABC's tech site, and CNBC's site. We did not initially capitalize on the vast searching potential of del.icio.us. Toward the end of our general searching, we began to use del.icio.us search terms more frequently to discover what our peers and other users were intrested in regarding technology. Our blog exploration tended to be haphazard as well, as we went through a period of trying to find reliable and timely postings.
Narrowing Focus: More Refiend Search Methods
As the semester progressed, our interests became more focused, and we soon realized that we wanted to concentrate on online mergers and acquisitions. Most notable in the evolution of our project was our incorporation of many of del.icio.us' features in our foraging for information. We typically would follow certain users that we had identified as tech-savvy. One such example is the del.icio.us tagger known as ibrent, presumably an afficionado of most things tech. Additionally, we became much more adept at conducting focused terms searches. Finding the appropriate terms to search became something of an artform. Queries such as Google and Yahoo! tended to yield far too many listings. Similarly, mergers or acquisitions also tended to draw a lot of seemingly irrelevant material. Thus, our news sites and blogs became of critical importance in finding appropriate material to search. Our blog searches and usage became much more focused. While we tended to explore from time to time, always looking for new useful opinions, we tended to use the same blogs quite frequently. Techcrunch is notable as one of the centerpieces of our blog tracking effort. Also, as noted in one of our previous blogs, Google's blogsearching utility was also helpful. News sites continued to be an instrumental feature of our research, as they provided timely updates on mergers and acquisitions happenings. Thus, after learning about acquisitions of such startups as Writely or Jotspot on our news feeds and blogs, we would search these terms (typically with great success) on del.icio.us. Moreover, our
Our tagging became much more focused throughout the semester, as our areas of concentration shrank. Aside from the required BIT200F06 and Group7 tags, we typically included labels such as mergers and acquisitions, along with the name(s) of the comapines acquired, and those doing the purchasing. Tags such as web2.0 also became commonplace. Doubling back to check articles tagged by other users using the same tags also proved to be a worthwhile search tactic.
In all, the techniques we learned through this project translated into useful skills for conducting searches and navigating the vast wealth of information available on the web.