[bksvol-discuss] Re: My observations on new search

  • From: "Monica Willyard" <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 00:51:49 -0500

Hi Lynn. You may not have realized this. The old Google search box could
only search the titles, authors, and synopses of books. Since we have around
10,000 books with no synopses, they were not possible to find. We also have
around 1,000 romances whose only synopses say "romance." We also have
thousands of books that are only in the fiction or nonfiction category,
making them difficult to find as well unless you knew their exact title or
author name. 
The full text search gives us transparent access to these thousands of books
for the first time. We no longer have to gaze into a crystal ball and guess
at what a book is about or put random words into the search box, just in
case they might be in a title. By typing market* I can find books I need for
work about marketing, markets, marketers, or marketed. Under the old system,
I had to do several searches, and they still wouldn't have worked on books
like McDonald's Behind The Arches, a book which definitely discusses
I do hope Bookshare staff will write a more detailed help file for searching
so people will get more comfortable with it. I know there are several bugs
too, and it'll be nice when the engineers are able to resolve them. Once
everything is fine-tuned, I think people will appreciate being able to find
books more easily.
Monica Willyard
"The best way to predict the future is to create it." -- Peter Drucker


From: bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bksvol-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Lynn Zelvin
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 12:10 PM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] OT: Re: Re: My observations on new search

That's too bad. Clearly they need to fix this. It was always possible to do
a keyword search on bookshare using google. Like, if you want to search any
site for something, in the search field in google you just write site:
followed by the full web address, and than any keyword or other string you
enter will be only on that site. So to search bookshare for keywords, I
site:http://www.bookshare.org and following that with a space and the word
macrame, I'd get a list of results  of any page on the bookshare site with
the word macrame in it. The bookshare search engine was better for just what
it did - only searching titles and authors. Temporarily, you could probably
get better title search results using google, since you could search for
only pages that contain both a specific title and author, a full author
name, or other combinations of words and exact strings. This is made easier
somewhat using the advanced search page but if anyone wants a better idea of
how to use google for this purpose, I may have ideas for you.

If it's OK to ask user questions here, the big thing I can no longer do
since the new site went up is to find books in a category starting with the
most recent. So, I used to go to the mystery and thriller category and since
the most recent books would be listed first, I could easily see what new in
that category had been added. It seems like one can't do that now since the
new search field doesn't allow one to leave the title and author fields
blank and just sort by category and date. But maybe there is something I'm
missing? Anyone know?


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