Googling: Surface-Skimming vs. Depth Reading

googling

Finally, proofworking surfaced onto the www, so now onto the topic of speculative research drawn from googling the wiki-sites vs. depth reading with a scholarly search.

Googling and Wikipedia

I’ve nothing against googling Wikipedia — the pictures are great and the information well organized. However, the encyclopedic nature of a wiki-site makes for a dry read. When I do research, I want to be illumined and enriched and transformed forever — that’s why I turn to scholarly sources. I like the atmosphere of these texts. I appreciate the restrained objective tone, the well-balanced perspective, and the even-keeled analysis.

While I am mid-rave, let me add: if you don’t have access to online databases through a public or university library, use Google Scholar, the freely accessible web search engine that provides good depth reading.

Google Scholar

When I search Google Scholar, what I fetch to my screen opens me up to see the poetry of the ‘pillar who is, obviously, on a personal journey toward both its beginning and its end. (This as the setting sun spins bubbles of dew along the tent’s delicate gossamer strands.) On top of that, a quick Google Scholar search nets more information about the three species of tent caterpillars that call my region of Canada home. Without getting buried in sheaves of analysis, suffice it to say that the local taxonomy includes

the Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria)

googling
hanging out on the trunk and looking like dna code

the Western Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum)

googling
living life large at the end of the branch

 

and the Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum)

googling
cotton candy, with squiggles

Obviously, my tree contains the Western tribe of Tent Caterpillars. And did you know that Western Tents prefer the sunny side the tree? Read all about it right here:  http://www.jstor.org/stable/3565313

Another ‘Point of View’

Currently, it’s early evening. The sun is almost down; the caterpillars are at rest. However, during the day when the sun shines hot across the land, they move through the tree like Olympic tightrope walkers, bending around behind themselves, tight-roping across silken crosshairs, eating above their weight level. Of course they leave great swaths of destruction and defoliation in their wake as they move from nest to feeding sites. But from their “point of view” it all makes sense! After chewing through the available leafage in their local zone, they have to find bigger supplies to meet their daily needs.

Additionally, birds have begun to perch on the tents and peck out the larvae. As the beaks slice through, do the bagworms cower in their webby lairs? While I am not that knowledgeable about birds either (surprise!?), with Delphic certainty I can say — it was small.

 

 

Indexing Code: Outlining, Formatting, PowerPointing

indexing

On the internet, web “bots” and web “spiders” constantly browse my site for the purpose of indexing or “scripting” it. Translation? The bots and spiders see and understand text placed within specialized headings and subheadings. indexingUsed to denote the importance of information, these so-called HTML headers — or “tags” — receive prime treatment by search engines looking for “hookwords” to associate with each webpage.

HTML — Indexing Code

HTML is geek speak for HyperText Markup Language. Because this code “marks up”  certain words, it functions like Track Changes and draws your attention to particular places on the page.

Obviously, bots and spiders like to read, and so do humans. That’s why outlining, formatting, PowerPointing and indexing are the primary methods used to write code, copy, articles or screenplays.

How is Outlining a Document like HTML Coding?

HTML code makes the “crawl-able” links for search engines; they in turn entice the spiders and bots to your website. Writing code is like scripting an essay’s outline. Level I, indexingthe main point, contains the thesis or the “hook” that lets everyone know what’s at stake. The next Levels are the smaller subpoints/subheads. Each performs like a paragraph in the document, separating itself from other block elements with a line of blank space.

How is Formatting a Document like HTML Coding?

To format the text on a webpage, you use a headline followed by subheadings. This breaks up the writing, improves the layout of the page, and lets the search engines know what’s relevant. Similarly, titles and subtitles make written documents easier to read, and understand. indexingUsually they are formatted with different font sizes or font aspects (i.e. uppercase, lowercase, bolded, underlined, etc.). Similarly, with HTML code, the h1 element makes the headline BIG and bold. To create smaller subtitles or levels of text, you can use the h2 or h3 etc. elements.

How are PowerPoint Bullet-Points like HTML Code?

When HTML tags define a line of text as a headline or a subheading, they also create hierarchies of importance. Writing good code helps to ensure the levels are correctly indexed and searchable. indexingBullet-point headings and subheadings on PowerPoint slides also tell the viewer what to look for. Additionally, they aid in organizing the screen by getting all the main and sub points across quickly and directly.

How is Manuscript Indexing like Writing Code?

To index keywords in a book or on a website, the coder/indexer finds the hookwords, slugs or taglines on each page. Both the HTML coder and the manuscript indexer list these terms properly, then format them in a certain order. However, the indexer has to add page numbers so readers can flip back for more information.indexing