Between the drama at Twitter and the rise of Mastodon, November passed in a bit of a blur and I was not able to do an update of new Search Gizmos. But I’ve got time now, so if you’ve got a few minutes let me tell you about seven new resources available at http://www.SearchGizmos.com .
Shuffle Search (Google) – https://searchgizmos.com/shuffle-search/
Did you know that Google’s search results look different depending on how you order your query words? Shuffle Search takes a 2-, 3-, or 4-word query and creates a list of all possible orders for those query words, and then generates clickable Google searches for all of them. (More than four words and there are too many iterations.)
Wikiween (Wikipedia) – https://searchgizmos.com/wikiween/
I made this in honor of Halloween. Enter a Wikipedia category containing people, and Wikiween finds the deceased people in the category and makes you a little Wikipedia cemetery. You’ll see summaries of the departed if you hold your mouse over a headstone; a link to full Wikipedia articles is underneath. Random ghosts, witches, zombies, and pumpkins mean your cemetery will look different every time you generate it.
Obit Magnet (Several News Engines) – https://searchgizmos.com/obit-magnet/
Trying to find an obituary? Obit Magnet takes a name and death date and generates obituary search URLs for Google Books (newspapers only), Newspapers.com, NewspaperArchive.com, and Chronicling America. Enter the name of the person you’re searching and the day, month, and year of their death. Obit Magnet will generate news searches for a span of 7 days and 15 days after death. It can also generate name variants to accommodate maiden and middle names.
Wikipedia Page Popularity Checker (Wikipedia) – https://searchgizmos.com/wpcc
I needed a tool that would count Wikipedia page views and make a chart for another project, so I put that here as a standalone Gizmo. Enter a page name, start date, and the number of days you want to chart (up to 30.) You’ll get a lightly-interactive chart (you can click on the chart’s line and get pageview totals for each data point.)
Backyard Scholarship (Google, .edu space) – https://searchgizmos.com/backyard/
Have you noticed that universities sometimes focus their research particularly on people who were born nearby or in the state? That’s what Backyard Scholarship looks for. Enter a name and a birthplace in America, and Backyard converts the city state to a zip code and finds all higher education institutions within a 30-mile radius. It then assembles the domain names of those institutions into a Google query and provides that URL.
Wikipedia Category Cheat Sheet (Wikipedia) – https://searchgizmos.com/ccs/
Exploring Wikipedia categories can be tedious when it’s a big category you don’t know anything about. Since pages are listed alphabetically instead of by popularity, it’s not clear what you should pay attention to or where you should start. That’s what Category Cheat Sheet is for. It takes a Wikipedia category, reviews the first 500 pages in it (this should be more than enough for most categories) and gets their page view count for the past month. Then the top 20 most-viewed pages in the category are listed with brief summaries and a link back to the full Wikipedia page should you care to explore further.
Resstodon – https://searchgizmos.com/resstodon/
I’m still experimenting on what to do with RSS feeds from Mastodon, but in order to experiment I need actual feeds, so I put together this VERY basic hashtag-based RSS feed generator for seven popular instances. It’s janky, I made it in less than an hour, and it should be considered incomplete. But it does make piles of RSS feeds.
More Mastodon Resources
In addition to Resstodon, I’ve been doing a lot of Mastodon work. Here are two sets of link lists that total over 80 Mastodon-related resources:
Categories: RB Search Gizmos