Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
Words of caution when you’re searching public records online:
Online repositories of official records may not be what you think they are.
Washoe County is one of those rare government agencies that has its Marriage Index online. They’re nice people over there. I had a friendly chat with the records supervisor because I wondered why the date of marriage for a couple was recorded as 2001 when the groom had died in 1984. I’m quick on my feet. There was a really good explanation but it wasn’t on their website so you wouldn’t have known it without talking to her.
The county records generated in the paper-only era, before a computer system was operational (1982), suffered a Y2K-like hiccup when they were entered into the computer. The dates of marriage applications filed prior to December 1983 are incorrect, unless they’ve been manually adjusted, which happens if the discrepancy comes to a staff person’s attention. Yet another reason why it’s still worth talking to people. The electronic record date was 2001 but the actual date of the application was 1948.
When in doubt, verify, nicely
Searching Florida recorded records? If you access these through myfloridacounty (a private site) to search multiple counties at one portal, first select the link “Click here for counties current range of dates.” In yet another friendly chat, I found out that 1. The date range for their records is more limited than that at the government county site; 2. The county doesn’t necessarily send the private site every type of record that is in the official Recorder’s index; and 3. Not all Florida counties participate.
Is blue always blue?
Google Archive News includes newspaper sources aggregated by NewsBank but not all content within those sources is indexed and not all NewsBank newspapers are included in Google News. I don’t know if that is written somewhere by an official source but that’s my experience. Your local library NewsBank database may have content more relevant to your search, and it’s free, searchable, with remote access. Also collect library cards from other regions so you can use their area-specific resources.
There are many free news tracking sources that send alerts to your email, RSS reader or are stored at a web-accessible site. Don’t limit yourself to just one aggregator, such as Google News — which is easy to set up and has good coverage. I’ve gathered a list of some other keyword news search and tracking tools to uncover and keep track of the online mentions of your brand, client, opposition or topics of interest.
1. “Ultimate News Database” – infoPig (http://www.infopig.com)
View news on designated topics, by major news outlets or related to geographical regions. You can also construct queries of keywords and receive those in your newsreader.
2. “Personalized News Aggregator” – Meehive (http://www.meehive.com)
Build a newspaper style webpage with custom keywords. No RSS or email export. Invite others to view your page at Meehive or on your social network.
3. “Keyword-Based RSS Feed Generator” – Kebberfegg (http://www.researchbuzz.org/tools/kebberfegg.pl)
Send personalized keyword searches to your newsreader. Search the web, news, blogs and more. The news sources and aggregators identified are: BBC, NewsisFree, FeedsFarm, Google News, IceRocket News, NewsTrove News, RocketNews, Topix.net, FindArticles, Wired, Findory, Yahoo News, MSN News, Moreover, Go Articles, Highbeam.
4. “Most comprehensive index of popularly tracked categories” – Trackle (http://www.trackle.com)
Receive keyword matches on the web, in your email or by RSS. Select the “News and Politics” category to query headline, local, global and topical news sources.
5. USNPL Newspaper Search – (http://is.gd/4eoOV)
Formulate advanced search queries, just as you would at a major search engine, to retrieve results from all newspapers at this site. There’s no RSS feature.
6. “A Top 10 online newspaper destination” – Topix (http://topix.net)
There doesn’t seem to be a convenient RSS feed, so you’ll have to make your own. Create your RSS feed for this site with the URL:
Replace the term “keyword” with your word or phrase and paste the URL in your newsreader.
7. Real-Time conversation monitoring – Twitter (http://twitter.com)
Select users to follow, or track mentions of your keywords and receive updates by RSS. Other applications offer alternative ways of viewing results and more rapid returns than email, if you’re monitoring in the application. See Monitter (http://www.monitter.com) and TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.com). These services use the Twitter search engine but the Twitter search (http://search.twitter.com) is more robust, and that’s also viewable in your newsreader. But this searches the postings not the Bio or Name fields. For that see Using Google’s New Features to Get Twitter Information (http://is.gd/4eo3F).
A common complaint about search query results from search engines is that too many are unwieldy, returning far more than one can troll though. But that’s also the advantage of search engines — they grab a lot of content. Google makes it easy to build custom search engines of just the websites that you want to search. I’ve created many of these, some of which are in the “Resources” category on PIbuzz.
I’m in California and much of my due diligence work is based here so I have a particular interest in California content. And I want to track California news and issues on public records, open government and law. The newest addition to my search engines is California News, which just searches California newspapers. Select the link, formulate your queries and search content in all California newspapers. Let me know if I’ve missed any.