Bloglist

This page contains all my blogs from the whole semester. It is sorted in reverse order of the date that the blog entry was created.


Airline Industry Wiki

by laytosplaytosp (08 Dec 2008 20:24; last edited on 08 Dec 2008 21:07)

My Wiki

I did my wiki on the unstable, inefficient U.S. airline industry. The contents of my site are fairly basic and easy to follow, but I will highlight some of the more interesting parts for you:

  • Home page: I wanted to make the home page easy to follow and a good introduction to the rest of the project. I used both the top and side tool bars as ways to explore the wiki. I added a few images to make the page a little more attractive.
  • Instructions: I provided two instruction pages…
  1. Background information: My thought process was that if the new analyst would want more information on the background of the airline industry he or she could utilize some of the resources that I found most interesting. I wanted to emphasis how different the tools used for the background information and the currents events are for the airline industry. Thus, I separated my instructions for each.
  2. Current Events: Basically I had the same thought process as above (background information.) I provided a screen shot of the email alerts that proved to be useful in the finding of on-going developments in the airline industry. I explained the process I had to go through in order to stay on top of the daily changes in the industry, in order for the new analyst to know what he is getting into.
  • Current Events: There are a couple features about the current events that I tried to make pretty cool. I put them on the home screen in order to emphasis the importance of the developments of the airline industry. It is an ever-changing industry and with all that has happened recently I wanted to make it clear they were easily accessible. I also put them on my side tool bar, which takes you to a page that has all the current events listed in order. Lastly, when you access the current events through the top tool bar it lists all the on-going stories with their pictures.
  • Custom Search Engine: I really enjoyed this part and screen shots as you can tell. I liked being able to develop something that portrays my knowledge on the topic.
  • Time Line: Although it looks fairly simple, this part took a good amount of time to develop and find all the necessary information. I was pretty proud of it when I was finished.
  • Information Resources: This part of the project was challenging. I wanted to illustrate that the tools that can be useful for the overall topics are different, so I put them in a tab view.

There is a lot more that I wish I could have done with the project given more time like changing the format of some of the pages to be more interesting. Additionally, I would have liked to provide more background information that pertained to the time line like have the different dates like to a page that depicts the impact of each event. I may still do all these things just because of all the time I have already invested in it why not have it be the exact way I want. I hope you enjoy my wiki!


Video Search

by laytosplaytosp (21 Nov 2008 04:23; last edited on 21 Nov 2008 05:19)

My initial thoughts on video search was simply…YouTube. Who knew there was more video searching tools than YouTube? YouTube has become the Google for video searches. I never thought that it could be useful or incorporated in my academics. That was until I took the lovely BIT 330 class. BIT 330 gave videoing searching a whole new meaning to me. There are many different tools for finding relevant videos. Today I describe one of the video searching tools and how it is applicable to my term project.

Truveo:

When I began my video search I did not think that I would find many videos that could be taken seriously. When I think of YouTube videos I think of my friends and I searching for videos like:

I didn't think there was many sites out there that had videos that could be taken seriously or videos that I would find useful for my term project. That was until I learned about Truveo. Right now there are about 500,000 daily visitors (thanks Google Trends and Professor Moore). Before this class I had never previously heard of Truveo, but it proved to be one of the coolest sites.

I searched for my query of "airline industry" not expecting to find much. Was I ever shocked when 1,550 videos were returned. From the first glance of the results returned many of the videos seemed applicable. I provided a screen shot of my results returned screen. I will discuss some of the useful characteristics of Truveo.

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The first characteristic that stood out most to me was the different tabs at the top of the screen labeled: "Top Ranked," "Most Viewed This Week," "Most Viewed This Month," "Most Viewed of All Time," and "Most Recent." That proved to be very useful. In addition at the bottom of the window was "Featured Channels" pictured below.

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That totally blew my mind. I could not believe how useful and efficient that made searching.

When I was browsing over my returned results I found many of the videos very relevant. There were several of them that I plan on using as support for my history of the airline industry. In addition, there were various videos that touched on the industry's struggles. For example, the video entitled "Airline industry's struggles". It is from a reliable source and reported by NBC's Anne Thompson.

The various video search results that are relevant to the airline industry will greatly assist me in making my wiki site not so mundane and one-dimensional. It's these cool tools of Truveo that I believe will make its traffic increase and that it will be stinking around for awhile.


Google Analytics

by laytosplaytosp (08 Nov 2008 04:23; last edited on 01 Dec 2008 00:18)

Google, Google, Google. You never cease to amaze me. You are constantly surprising me with your cool gadgets that before BIT 330 I never knew existed. In our most recent class we learned about Google Analytics, a free service that Google offers that provides individuals with detailed statistics about visitors to their website.

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What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that can be incorporated on any website to provide a web statistics tracking system. I found an interesting blog about the various features of Google Analytics that many users are unaware of. He listed the top five as:

  1. Ability to capture internal search stats
  2. Filter out domains
  3. Track document downloads or specific links
  4. Export to Excel
  5. Filter yourself out

Having no prior knowledge about Google Analytics I find it quite fascinating. But, I wonder who can capitalize from using this tool the most? Well, I found (thanks to good old wikipedia) that:

Its main highlight is that the product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew.

I will definitely try to impress my marketing group with Google Analytics, hopefully I'll find someway to incorporate it.

Google notes:

Google Analytics shows you how people found your site, how they explored it, and how you can enhance their visitor experience. Improve your website return on investment, increase conversions, and make more money on the web.

It appears to me that Google Analytics could have proved very useful in the political campaigns. But will I find it useful…?

My Term Project Website:

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So, I went through the step-by-step process of signing up with Google Analytics, which were generously provided by my BIT 330 professor. I took my "Web Property ID" that was given to me after I filled out all my relevant information and put it into my wiki site. Unfortunately, my site is not currently public, thus nothing happened, but I'm looking forward to all the cool information Google Analytics will return! I provided an image of what a typical Google Analytics result looks like.


Custom Search Engines

by laytosplaytosp (05 Nov 2008 00:26; last edited on 01 Dec 2008 00:10)

Custom search engines? I guess it should not surprise me that such a tool exists. I feel like anything and everything can be customized anymore. But, what is a custom search engine? Who can utilize them? And will they prove useful in my term project for my BIT 330 class this semester? These are all questions that I hope to answer through this blog.

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What is a custom search engine?

Having no prior knowledge of custom search engines I had to do some extensive research. Okay, maybe not extensive, but I did spend some time trying to figure out exactly what custom search engines are and putting in terms that the average web searcher would understand. While doing my research I found a website called StoneTemple Consulting that had an overview of what custom search engines are all about, particularly Google's. Here's what they had to say:

CSE provides a deceptively simple form-based interface for building a domain-specific search engine on top of the Google search platform. This means that the builder gets to focus on selecting valuable content and tuning the ranking criteria, while Google does all the "heavy lifting" of crawling, indexing, ranking, and displaying results.

Basically, what I get from custom search engines is that instead of searching the whole World Wide Web for a certain query you can utilize custom search engines to search a small set of topic defined sites.

There are many different tools out there that serve in assisting individuals in creating their own custom search engines. For example, we discussed Topicle, Eurekster Swicki, and Rollyo. I found several others that offer similar fuctions: Obtanium and Search Maker Pro.

Who can utilize custom search engines?

  1. Business Professionals
  2. Industry Experts
  3. Bloggers
  4. Passionate Searches
  5. Anyone with their own website

Will it be useful for my term project?

When we were discussing the Google Custom Search engine something popped out at me. The second point where our professor provided several different examples to look over. The second example was Industry Experts. Professor Moore noted this is similar to what we have to do for our term project. That got me thinking. How can I utilize custom search engines for my topic: the Airline Industry.

Obviously, this tool will prove very useful for my term project. I'll be able to compile all the web resources that are relevant to my topic and create a search engine that I will embed on my site. The sites that I add will help improve search relevancy. As I continue working on my project I can add to my sites and allow more information to be retrieved. Here is my initial custom search engine. It is very rough, but here you go:

Final Thoughts:

I think this tool can be very useful for anyone, not just the search savvy. I love that [Google provides it as a free service. Although there is a twist. On your results page there must be ads. Not a bad price to pay for a cool gadget. I feel my site will be legit having it's own search engine. I look forward to making a more complete custom search engine through my further research.


Cherry Hill Village Image Search

by laytosplaytosp (02 Nov 2008 05:31; last edited on 02 Nov 2008 06:05)

This past class we learned the ins and outs of image searches. Various tools were introduced and I decided to compare my results from Google Images to Compfight. The query I ran in both of the image search tools was "Cherry Hill Village." You may be wondering why I chose that as my query. Well, the timing of this class could not have been more perfect. In my American Cultures class that I am taking this semester we are learning about the effects of American Suburbia. There is an interesting Traditional Development Neighborhood in Canton, Michigan called Cherry Hill Village that attempts to reverse the negative effects of suburbia. I had to make a visual argument about Cherry Hill Village and found these image search tools to be very helpful. Here's why…

Google Image:

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Google, the first choice of the amateur Web searcher. That's me. But, throughout the course I am starting to consider myself closer and closer to being an efficient searcher. Naturally, I started my search in Google Image. My query of "Cherry Hill Village" returned fairly relevant images. Google Image provided several different options to narrow my search: to search by size, color, and content. These all proved to be very helpful while I was searching for images to help create a masterful argument that would amaze my professor. In addition to running the search based solely on images Google Image gave me the choice to run my query on the web, which was useful for finding general information on Google about Cherry Hill Village.

The first image returned by Google Image I did not find any relevancy to my topic. I was surprised that this would be the first image listed. As I searched throughout the returned results I was pleasantly pleased with the results. I was searching for the different types of housing styles in Cherry Hill Village and found several different examples. For example, there is the single family homes, townhouses, and apartment complexes. All of which Google Image returned for me within the first two pages of results.

Compfight: compfight_logo.png

Next, I decided to see how Compfight fared again Google Image. Compfight is am image-specific search engine, that is a flickr search tool. I ran the same query, "Cherry Hill Village" in Compfight. It returned 31 images "for most interesting." The images were of beautiful quality, which I felt as though the results returned from Google Image were lacking. All of the results returned were relevant to my topic! I was very happy about this because I needed as many relevant images as I could find. I wanted images of the different elements that make up Cherry Hill Village because I was planning on taking the images I found and making them into a puzzle. I found pictures of the sidewalks in Cherry Hill Village. I could not find any pictures of just the sidewalks in Google Image. I couldn't get over the clarity of each of the photos. It made it appear as though I took the pictures myself. (I was hoping this would impress my professor).

There wasn't as many options to narrow down my results, but I didn't find the need to utilize such options. I thought in the grand scheme of things this would be a con for Compfight since my query was so specific it didn't return quite as many results, but for a more general topic not having different ways to narrow the results down. In the end I was able to use several of the results returned by Compfight for my project.

Impressions:

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Overall, in my battle between Google Images and Compfight I would have to say the winner is Compfight. I was pleased with the results returned for several reasons. The quality of the images was much better and the relevancy of the results. Google Images did provide better tools to narrow down my results though. Although Google Images returned more results, which needed this option of narrowing down results it still fell short in terms of relevancy. I plan on using Compfight for my next American Cultures project and my BIT term project. Thanks Compfight you made my lacking in creativity not quite as visible to my professor and colleges!


What can CiteULike do for you?

by laytosplaytosp (29 Oct 2008 03:09; last edited on 29 Oct 2008 04:20)
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In our discussion on Tag Based Sites, we briefly touched on a social news site for researchers and scientist, called CiteULike. I have decided to take a closer look at exactly what CiteULike has to offer students, like yourself.

The Basics:

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When I first entered the site my initial reaction was not one that generated a sense of "ooow awww." The general appearance of CiteULike is kind of boring, especially for a social bookmarking site. The main page is entitled "Everyone's Library" it is just a collection of the different articles in no particular order. The top navigational toolbar of CiteULike is very useful. It has the main categories like "Post Article," "Journals," and "Groups." From the different categories there is a drop down bar that even breaks it down further. On the right there is a box of the most active tags on CiteULike.

What is it & What does it do?

I had to get over the appearance and determine what exactly CiteULike is and how it is used. I decided to do some research about it and found an article that describes CiteULike:

Citeulike, a fusion of Web-based social bookmarking services and traditional bibliographic management tools. It discusses how Citeulike turns the linear 'gather, collect, share' process inherent in academic research into a circular 'gather, collect, share and network' process, enabling the sharing and discovery of academic literature and research papers.

Basically it simplifies the storing and sharing of academic research papers. But the major draw back to this site is that its primary audience is scientist and those interested in science. Unforunately, I can not consider myself either of these types of people.

Example:

Since I don't consider myself an expert in the field of science I decided to utilize the most active tags on the right of the front page. i clicked on the "cancer" tag. It returned 950 articles. From there I choose the article "The biology of cancer and aging." It took me to a Library tag, which gave me the all different kinds of options. I could view the full text of the article in four different resources: DOI, Nature, Pubmed, and Hubmed. I could write a review of the article, find related articles from the other users that tagged it, create a BibTeX record or RIS record. The last option is what I believe to be the most useful resource. For all the relevant references you find you can export it via BibTeX, instantly creating a bibliography. That is so cool! I hate creating those darn things and to have a resource that would instantly create one for me would be so useful! When browsing through the different articles it is possible to add them to your library in just a click of a button.

Taking the good with the bad:

  • Pros:
  1. Simpilifies researching process
  2. Creates time-consuming bibliography
  3. Publicly stores references that can be accessed on any computer
  4. Can browse other people's resources
  5. Ability to create public, private, or grouped entries
  6. Comment and rate the different articles
  • Cons:
  1. Specialized for scientists or scientific topics
  2. Only supports certain sites, if site not supported have to manually add entries

In closing

CiteULike is a great resource for researches and scientist as Professor Moore noted, but as for us business students I don't see us finding this very useful anytime soon. I hope you enjoyed my analysis of CiteULike!


Page Monitors

by laytosplaytosp (27 Oct 2008 03:33; last edited on 27 Oct 2008 03:33)

The Airline Industry

by laytosplaytosp (03 Oct 2008 05:46; last edited on 08 Oct 2008 01:13)

Where to start?

This week we were able to blog about a random search tool. I decided to discuss Web directories and how I plan on using them for my term project. Web directories are a very useful tool. Using a directory as your first step in researching a particular topic is very efficient because the work has already been done for you. Who doesn't love that? Letting someone else do the work for once, I can definitely get used to that. The real test was how useful it would be in my quest for defining what exactly my topic for the term project will be. Although I had completed this process a week ago, I believe it can be beneficial for anyone who doesn't know where to start in their researching.

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Getting Started

In class we experimented with two different Web directories Yahoo Directory and DMOZ. I guess I'll try and expand my horizon beyond the familiar Google and Yahoo. So, I decided to give DMOZ a shot in assisting me to define my topic. When I first opened up the DMOZ page I wasn't impressed. It was very bare. They tried to be creative in only one aspect by making the Kids and Teens topics different colors. Anyways, I guess I'll stop being judgmental and see how it performs in defining my topic.

Once I was finally able to get over how boring there homepage was I decided to start my search.
Here's what my thought process was:

  • Okay, so…now that I'm on the site where do I begin. Thankfully, they had general topics to choose from.
  • Now the hard part what topic did I want to focus on?
    • Shopping? Oh I would love to do that, but I'm not so sure that is where Professor Moore saw the topic choices going.
    • Sports? Boy, I sure do love sports, but I want to do a topic that I'll learn more about through my research.
    • Hm…let's see what Business has to offer.
  • After clicking on Business I was given a bunch of more specific topics. Great. More decisions.
  • After thorough examination I decided to click on Transportation and Logistics. Not sure why that was the winner just seemed interesting.
  • From there DMOZ listed the aviation, bus, rail, taxis, etc.

And finally…

I decided with all that is going on with the airline industry today that would be my topic. I have always been interested in the industry and deep, down I want to be the person who is able to correct all that is wrong with it. Hopefully after having a better understanding of the problems one day I'll be that person.

DMOZ

Overall, I found DMOZ to be a great help in my quest. Having no idea where I was even going to start and then within the hour having my topic finalized was a great relief. DMOZ may prove useful in this alone, but its a start which is exactly what Web directories are effective at.


How 'Bout Them Cowboys

by laytosplaytosp (03 Oct 2008 00:23; last edited on 03 Oct 2008 03:07)

How 'Bout Them Cowboys!

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After a tragic loss this week I decided to search for the latest news reactions about the Dallas Cowboys. I know, I know how can I be a Dallas Cowboys fan? Especially since I am from small town Pennsylvania. I can't help myself ever since the early 1990's dream team with players like Aikman, Smith, Irwin, and Everett. Too many greats to name. I will admit I don't follow every Cowboys game, but the games I enjoy the most are when they play the Eagles because everyone in my town is die hard and I just love when the Cowboys beat up on the Eagles. I decided to do a search on the Dallas Cowboys using different news search tools.

Google News

First, I decided to do a search on the Dallas Cowboys on Google news. The results returned were organized in sections by various newspapers. For example: Dallas Morning News and Washington Post. The majority of the 20,896 results returned were relevant to the Dallas Cowboys. There was an array of results returned pertaining to the loss against the Washington Redskins last week. I enjoyed that Google gave a blog option on the left side navigational bar.

LexisNexis News

I did a similar search in LexisNexis as the Google News and the process was rather interesting. On the homepage I put in my "Dallas Cowboys" query and it returned a page not found. So, I decided to go back to the homepage and under the "Headlines" I located the "Sports" section. Once I was was in the Sports section I found an "NFL" tab and clicked on it. From there I tried my search again.

Of the first twenty-five results returned on the first page only ten of them were relevant. The interface of LexisNexis is not has user-friendly as Google News. A majority of the articles came from "The Sports Network." Most of those articles were just box scores from the several weeks of NFL play.

Conclusion

If the Cowboys are going to live up to their Superbowl potential they need to bounce back from this loss. Then again in 1995 when the Cowboys won the Superbowl they were swept by the Redskins, maybe this season will bring similar success! I'm hoping this week is better for the Cowboys than the last when they face the Cincinnati Bengals. In a side-by-side comparison of Google News and LexisNexis, LexisNexis fell pretty short. Google seems to just never fail.


RSS Feeds

by laytosplaytosp (28 Sep 2008 20:32; last edited on 10 Oct 2008 01:37)
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Finding yourself short of time and in need of a efficient information retriever? Then RSS Feeds are the tool for you. As a busy, BBA students it is essential that we utilize our resources. RSS Feeds are a great tool that can maximize your time being spent researching. RSS Feeds helps you save time, manage your attention, and find information in just a click of a button.

Today there are lots of tools designed to help you work with RSS Feeds. I plan on focusing on three searchable feed databases tools and give my recommendation of one the most useful tools out there. To begin I choose Blogpulse, IceRocket, and Google Blog Search. From there I decided to search for a topic of particular interest to me: “healthy dieting.” Eating healthy has become a struggle for me because of all that I have going on right now. I find it hard to juggle school and playing a Division I sport, all awhile trying to eat nutritionally beneficial foods.

After conducting my search in the three different searchable databases I found Google Blog Search to be the best out of the three.

Winner

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I may be bias since I have a natural tendency to use Google for all my web-related searches, but I found Google Blog Search to be the winner for these reasons:
  1. Relevance:
  2. User-friendly:
    • Ability to search web or blogs
    • Sidebar gives ability to explore blogs published last hour, last 12 hours, etc.
    • Similar interface to regular Google
    • Free of ads
  3. Staying up to date:

Google Blog Search returned 27,798 recent posts for my query.

Close Second

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In my opinion Blogpulse was a pretty close second. From their homepage you can see it offers four pretty cool features:

  1. Trend This:
    • Solely because of the trend this feature it offers. I found it interesting to see the graph illustrating the trend of results for “healthy dieting.”
  2. Featured Trends:
    • It provides with just one-click featured topics and subjects that people are blogging about. As it states they “did the trend search work for you!” The hottest blogs can be easily found through this feature.
  3. Conversation Tracker:
    • Don’t miss a beat with this feature. It tracks conversations of a particular interest to you for you. This is fascinating stuff!
  4. BlogPulse Profiles:
    • Provides more information on the author of your favorite blogs. This feature allows you to find out more information about a specific blog or blogger.

6,889 recent posts were returned.

Not bad, but not great

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Pros:

  • Offers similar results trend, but breaks it down more for you
  • Retrieves 9 tagged posts
  • Ability to choose dates when published

Cons:

  • Has sponsored ads
  • Busier interface

10,237 recent posts

Conclusion:

Web based feed readers are needed to get you started because at first it can seem very overwhelming with all the information that is available. Each of the blog search databases gives you the ability to multiply your own efforts. Sometimes the features are useless depending on your specific reason for search. Google Blog Search provided the most useful, efficient features making it my preferred blog search tool.


My first test blog

by laytosplaytosp (14 Sep 2008 04:42; last edited on 10 Oct 2008 01:38)

This is my first blog entry. I hope it works.

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