I wrote my first book about using search engines in 1996. Google wasn’t around then, but there was still plenty to talk about. In fact, there was so much to talk about that I felt like I needed a Web site to keep up with all the changes, and in April 1998 ResearchBuzz was born. So this month ResearchBuzz is twelve years old, which is A TON in Internet years.
When ResearchBuzz started, I ran it using FrontPage. Now it runs on WordPress. The weekly newsletter has been replaced by daily e-mailed updates by those who want them, and of course the RSS feed is still around. There’s a bit of social media, now, too — ResearchBuzz has a Twitter account that both sends out news updates and those brief bits that used to be called “littlebuzz.” ResearchBuzz is also on Facebook, though I’m trying to learn to do more with that.
And of course the search engine scene itself has changed. You don’t hear much about AltaVista or HotBot anymore. Nobody resigns themselves to waiting 6-8 weeks for a Web page to be indexed. And while there are still some resources that do not have RSS feeds, they are greatly outnumbered by those which do.
You might think that I would be tired of search engines and databases by now, but I’m not. I still love searching. I still love playing with engines and figuring out the best ways to get the most out of special syntax. I still love finding databases filled with odd and unusual collections. I still feel a sense of glee when I find a well-designed and implemented digital archive.
And I’m still grateful to those of you who read ResearchBuzz, who send me cool resources to check out, who let me know when I’ve found something that’s made your work easier or given you a laugh. I’m so happy that there’s a way I can help librarians and teachers out there, even if it’s only a tiny bit.
You may have noticed in the last several months that there’s a lot more ResearchBuzz going out. I have revamped some of the tools I use, which has made it easier to get the writing and the research done. And if I can keep them going, I’ll see you again here in another twelve years, saying “Now We are Twenty-Four”…
Thank you for reading.