After writing the November 2 post on John Brown, an email from flag3 featured for November:
The Battle of Tippecanoe:
Prelude to the War of 1812
In the sidebar was the following:
On November 1, 1861, President Lincoln promoted General George B. McClellan to general-in-chief, commander of all Union armies. About that time, McClellan had assembled a large number of troops around Washington, DC, to protect the capital, which was surrounded by Confederate forces.
McClellan often invited dignitaries to watch his troops in training exercises. On November 18, 1861, Julia Ward Howe and her husband were among the invited guests. Later that night, impassioned by what she’d seen and encouraged by friends to write better words to the battle song, John Brown’s Body, Ward swiftly and famously penned the hymn that would inspire the troops throughout the Civil War, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Now search engines use patterns gleaned from the way the computer is used. It looks at not only the subjects searched, but the time a viewer takes to select a search result.
There are advantages to this method as well as disadvantages. Time is important and when the selected items are on target, we can move on to the next problem. Knowledge databases are so large, we might never find the information we are seeking. Years ago we might have searched for hours and not found anything we wanted.
Search engines have become easier to use, but we are not always satisfied. We have given up some level of privacy without knowing we are being evaluated. We may not know that the information we are seeking is on the next 40, 50 or 1000th item. It may be impossible to reach that information. This could give another researcher an advantage.
But more often, a search is unsatisfactory. For example, ancestry.com is the first place genealogists look for information and documents. It has the largest database by acquiring other companies. Recently it acquired a portion of footnote (now flag3.com) adding a very wonderful database. The ease of use at footnote was a part of its charm. However, there are times when ancestry gives so much information that the order is jumbled. It may require hours of viewing and you may not find what you requested.
(flag3.com has continued to make its war documents available. Flag3 members get a discount when also an ancestry.com member. There are free introductory time periods and coupons on twitter for both sites.))
Other search engines may ‘time out’ and a new search starts at the beginning. Frustration develops. The alternative: search engines or no search engines? The answer is a no-brainer.
That the same person (John Brown) and the same song (John Brown’s Body, music) would inspire soldiers fighting each other during the Civil War.And is it possible, just perhaps, we are the only ones seeing our posts when selected under. wordpress.com/topics.