Posts Tagged ‘search engines’

If you use images for your business website or presentations, you want to be careful about copyright infringement (if you don’t want others to use your intellectual property, you need to respect their IP, too).

There are dozens of stock photo websites, but it seems that, with the exception of WikiMedia, they all require registration before seeing anything larger than a thumbnail. Grrr. I just want to see if the picture is suitable for my purposes before I sign up.

Search engines are good alternatives and the Bing.com search site just made image searches easier. Check this out:

Type in your search term. I’m doing a search for images of Abraham Lincoln. Right on the homepage, Bing asks what type of information I want to retrieve:

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If I choose images, Bing provides search results of websites that offer images of Abraham Lincoln, but if I click on Images at the top edge of the screen…

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Notice the gray bar beneath the search field. You can filter the 71,700 images to select Size (small, medium, large, wallpaper), Color (color, b/w, or a particular color, such as sepia), Type (photo, clipart, line drawing), Layout (square, wide, tall – to fit your project!), People (heads only, head and shoulders), Date (when images were posted), and (drum roll, please) License (yes, you can filter for images which you can modify and use in your project). I LOVE THIS FEATURE!

Google does offer some tools for filtering results, but the Layout and License tools are unique to Bing. Bing does provide a link to Creative Commons where you can learn more about various license types and proper attribution. Always be sure to give credit where credit is due. Now, didn’t that project just get easier?

I don’t know how I get to some of the places I’ve been. I mean online, of course. Although it’s probably happened a time or two when I’m in the car.

Yesterday afternoon, I ran a search for writing. Bazillion sites in the results. So I narrowed it to blog writing. I’m still new at this form of writing and I know it can be better. Much better. I’m smiling as I write this because yesterday a blogger I follow posted a how-to article on that very subject. Check out Kana’s Chronicles. Good stuff.

mastermind-matrix-800Following one of the hits, I signed up for Writing.com and saved a few articles as pdf files to be read later. I followed links to six more websites, created shortcuts to some and dashed off an e-mail to a webmaster with a badly broken style sheet.

Some years ago, I signed up for elance.com, a website that connects freelancers with clients, but never did anything with it. After my foray into blog writing, I decided to search for freelance work, hoping to find similar websites that don’t require paid membership to use it well. I visited several but they weren’t very forthcoming about fees. Some had lots of contracts posted, others not so much, and one where most of the jobs were of the envelope-stuffing variety for which they are willing to pay enormous sums. I used to work as a writer for an insurance broker, preparing proposals and marketing materials so I wasn’t completely out of my element.

Time to eliminate some of the chaff. Narrowed search to freelance writing and followed a link to yet another bid/contract site. On this one, I looked at some of the listings and came across one that was very explicit about their search engine optimization (SEO) requirements. Which led to a search for pagerank checkers/software. Which led to a search for search engines (beyond Google and Bing, Yahoo and Zippy). There are actually quite a few. More than 250.

My mind wandered to things I need to do before I start any serious self-promotion for freelance work. Like get up to speed on MS Office 2010. I used to teach MS Office but that was when Office XP was the latest and greatest. They’ve rearranged everything and taken away some features I loved. Oh well. Thus the search for free tutorials for Microsoft Office. Which reminded me that they are discontinuing a favorite freebie, Microsoft Reader. Created when ePublishing was in its infancy, it was orphaned years ago. Born prematurely, I knew the end would come. Sigh.

Of course, that led me to a search for ebook publishing software because soon my OpenWorks Publisher will be obsolete (okay, it already is obsolete). I followed a link that hasn’t been updated in two years but the list of articles was interesting. In the writing category…”7 Ways to Unblock Your Creativity.” Click. Perusing the article, suggestion #4 said “Do a mind map.” Oh yeah. I’d seen software for that a couple of years ago. Ooooh. A link to a website about mind mapping. Click.

From there to the software page where they list several companies that make mind mapping software, including an open source freebie which I downloaded, of course. These software packages run about $250.00. Little bit too pricey for a test driver.

I don’t know how I got where I went next. I’m actually going to include the link to this one: litemind.com because this site has a lot of really informative articles including What is Mind Mapping- (and How to Get Started Immediately). I signed up for the author’s free eBook and then followed a link from his Study Matrix Mind Map to another website, IQMatrix.com. Amazing. Go. Don’t worry. New window. I’ll be here when you’re done.

Confession: I always thought mind mapping was just for brainstorming and organizing random but somehow related ideas. More. So, so much more. Check it out.

Last note: I wrote the other day about Google’s covert recording of our lives. I’ve decided I don’t mind being molested if a) I know it’s happening, and b) I benefit directly from it. I could not have recalled all the places I’ve been today if not for Bing.com. I log in with my Windows Live ID so I can collect the reward points. In return, Bing not only rewards me, they maintain a history of my searches and the links I followed from the results. I can delete it or stop the recording, but I like it. I’ll get rewards points if you click on my link to their site and you decide to sign up.

By the by, Bing also restricts ads to the righthand column instead of being comingled with the search results, suggests similar or related searches that might narrow the results for you, and if you search for something that has images, thumbnails appear in the results list and a larger image pops up when you mouse over it. Dang. They’re just doing it way better than Google.