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Find Web Sites

The real heart of the matter of selection, however, goes deeper... our ineptitude in getting at the record is largely caused by the artificiality of systems of indexing. When data of any sort are placed in storage, they are filed alphabetically or numerically, and information is found (when it is) by tracing it down from subclass to subclass... Having found one item, moreover, one has to emerge from the system and re-enter on a new path.

The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain.

- Vannevar Bush; As We May Think; The Atlantic Monthly; July 1945.

How can you find websites? Indexes and search engines of various kinds have greatly facilitated wide access to the wealth of information on the Internet. There are three general types of sites that can help you find websites on subjects that you're interested in:

  • Directory Sites. These sites put websites into a structure of predefined categories after a review by a human being. You should start with a directory site if you are looking for a category of information, like the Environment, Gardening, or Photography, or for a well known site likely to be in their directory. They can be a good place to search first followed by a wider investigation with a general search engine if necessary.
  • Search Engines. Search engines automatically scan millions of web sites across the Internet, and then provide you with search access to the resulting database. These databases are larger than those of directory sites, but don't use any human quality control. You should use a search engine when you are looking for detailed information, when you want to search the largest number of web pages, and when you want to use advanced search features.
  • Specialized Search Engines. These sites provide specialized search functionality such as meta-searches (searching several engines at once), multimedia searches, legal information searches, and other capabilities.