New Search Engine Option

December 2010, Number 117

Together Google and Bing control about 90% of the search engine market share. So who needs another search engine option?

Blekko thinks maybe we all do. Blekko invites users to slash the web, limiting search to preselected sites. You can use the slash tags that Blekko has created for you, like /shop or
/blogs or /weather to filter results. Alternatively, you can create your own slash tag for customized search results.

So, supposing you arere planning an April trip to San Diego, try San Diego/travel in the Blekko search box to return results from relevant travel sites. San Diego/flickr will return
pictures from the Flickr photo sharing site. Anyway, I think you get the idea.

Creating your own slashtag is as simple as giving it a name, adding a few descriptive keywords, and listing the websites you want to search when you use the tag. You can even share the slash tag with other Blekko users.

In my business we follow several business topics on behalf of clients. There are a handful of sites for each topic that that should not be overlooked in any query on that topic.
Customized slash tags make it fast and easy to do a quick scan as needed.

Give it a go and share your slash tags with other Information Update readers. Send us your creations and we will post them in the next issue.

Notes, News, and Announcements

The NORAD Santa Tracker site just launched for 2010. NORAD safeguards the air sovereignty of North America. They’ve been tracking Santa since 1955 when a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa
misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD [predecessor to NORAD] Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

The site includes a countdown with updates from the North Pole, an answer to the question of whether Santa is real, and information on Santa snacks. Check out the FAQs for technical data on Santa’s sleigh, an explanation of how Santa can travel the world in 24 hours, and how Santa gets down the chimney.

Here’s the non-technical description of Santa’s sleigh: NORAD can confirm that Santa’s sleigh is a versatile, all weather, multi-purpose, vertical short-take-off and landing vehicle. It is capable of traveling vast distances without refueling and is deployed, as far as we know, only on December 24th (and sometimes briefly for a test flight about a month before Christmas).

Check it out and have fun!