people, when starting to find information on the Internet, will start
by thinking of the World Wide Web
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Internet Search Methods
Most people, when starting to find information on the Internet, will start by thinking of the World Wide Web and turn immediately to the main Web search engines. But there's a lot more available on the Net. Start here!
It is true that there is a very large amount of information on the Web, and the search engines and directories can help you to find it. Increasingly, these search engines also have facilities for searching Newsgroup archives, finding people and other activities which were previously separate Internet search tools.
But there are also many other sources of information outside the Web which might give you the information that you are seeking. It is likely that you will find the correct source somewhere in this Workshop.
Because the amount of information available on the Internet is so vast, it's important to have a very clear idea of exactly what you are searching for. Many search techniques need you to enter 'key words' which the correct file or information page might contain. If your key words are too vague, you will be overwhelmed by information sources. If they are too narrow or specialised, you may find nothing. Some guidance on 'key words' and how they are used in search engines is given on our Search Engines pages. There are several other pages, describing some of the best search engines. So, before you start your search, think clearly about your objectives.
In addition to general Web sites, here are the main alternative sources of information:FTP sites
These "File Transfer Protocol" sites are very good sources for software - shareware, freeware and demo programs. In addition, some of them, particularly those linked to educational establishments, contain specialised information files. You'll find ways of accessing these on our Files page
If you know the file name (or part of the file name) of a program that you want, then the FTP file search methods will the fastest way of finding what you want. Failing that, there are a number of specialised Web sites that can help you. Look for these on our Software page.
Since there is, as yet, no centralised directory of people's email addresses, there are a number of resources which might help you to locate someone's email address. Check out the search methods on our People finding page.
Newsgroups and Email discussion lists
There are tens of thousands of each of these, where people exchange information, opinions and - occasionally insults - covering almost every topic under the sun. Not only can you search the archives of many of these groups for information, but you can also ask your own specific question and hopefully find someone able to give you an informed answer. Make sure, though, that you choose the correct group to ask your question in, or you will not be very popular. How can you find the right group? Our Newsgroup and Email List pages might be able to help.
You'll find on our Other Sources page a few of the less well known search tools such as "Veronica" and "Gopher", as well as other miscellaneous information methods and resources.