Almost fifteen years ago, which is an eternity in Internet years, I started a newsletter called Really Useful Sites, in which I profiled Web sites that had free or low-cost information. I found hundreds of sites in those early years, put up by universities, foundations, organizations, and just plain, everyday folks who had found a way to offer something useful on their Websites. As time went on it became harder to find useful information that didn’t have a price tag attached to it. Big corporations got involved, and every site had a subscription fee slapped on before they’d let you access their information. I eventually stopped publishing the newsletter, but I still surf the Web looking for those diamonds in the rough, those sites where you can still find free or low-cost information. One such site is MillionShort, which is a search engine that eliminates the first ten thousand (or more) sites from every search. Why would you want to eliminate the top search results? Because most of them are trying to sell you something. When you get rid of the top ten thousand, or hundred thousand, or million sites, you get sites that are like the ones I used to find all those years ago. They are generally sites that are put up out of the sheer joy of sharing information, and they don’t charge a fee. Try it — you’ll be surprised at what you find.
Posted on August 7, 2012 by mcdonnellwrite