Finding online resources in the deep web
I was just looking at Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources (via Rebecca's Pocket). It's a useful list of 119 online resources for good and/or authoritative information about a variety of things like: art, economic and job data, transportation, etc.
Back in the early days of the web, finding good information online often involved finding the web pages of the right people or organizations. If you were really lucky, those individuals had posted a good index or online guide, created by hand, about the information you needed. Otherwise, you'd still luck-out because, when you emailed the individuals, they'd often send you great info via email.
Now, on one hand, we have Google and Wikipedia, which afford us pretty easy access to much of the info we might want. On the other hand, we have a practically unending supply of information rich, topic-oriented blogs and discussion forums that provide us with straightforward access to the "right people" that we might want to find.
(On the whole, I think the positive aspects of these things generally outweigh the negatives that come with them, like: spam, the greater visibility of windbag pundits, the network effects that encourage group-think and the spread of bad information, and even all of us getting lazier about our information sources!)
But, still, sometimes, one just needs to get into deeper information, beyond these sources. So, it's great to see a good, old fashioned, general index to information resources online.
Actually, one of the things I remember about the web of just a few years ago is that I personally felt much more obliged to create and publish good indexes / guides to whatever I was writing about. For example, in 2003, I never would have created a blog like this one without also posting a list of sites / pages that I consider essential and/or authoritative sources on the topics I am discussing here. So, hmm, maybe we still need to do that. . .
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