Windmill Tilting

I have been searching for a while now for a Cross of Lorraine.  I had one that I loved and wore often, both as a sign of my faith and as an indication of my background: the Cross of Lorraine is a particularly French symbol.  I purchased it years ago at Bastille Days in Milwaukee, by a man who claimed it to be a French Explorer’s Cross, used by the men who traversed North America in the 17th and 18th centuries.

I lost the cross and have been looking for its replacement ever since.

Now, I’m a fairly skilled web-searcher.  I’ve spent hours on and off looking for something similar to the one I lost, to no avail.  Lots of “Magnum, P.I.” rings, but no pendant.

Enter findingDulcinea.   It’s a new web site, helping people wander through the web more easily.  They call themselves the “Librarian of the Internet” though I didn’t find a person who claimed to be a librarian.  Nonetheless, here’s what they have to say about the site:

We view findingDulcinea as three distinct Web sites woven together with a common purpose of untangling the Web, freeing it of clutter and spotlighting Web sites that matter. A brief overview of each of these sections follows:

Web Guides

Most Web users believe that the top results in a search engine are actually “endorsed” by the search engine, when in fact the results are determined by unfathomable algorithms. And, in fact, the most useful results may actually be on the second or third results page. Because of this, 85% of search users do not find what they are looking for on their first search try, and instead flail repeatedly at the search engine box, creating “Web search fatigue.” We cure this fatigue by reviewing and endorsing every site we select, providing users with the endorsed content they mistakenly believe they are getting with a search engine. On top of that, we write concise and informative annotations about each link we find, so you can know before you click whether the site is likely to be helpful to you.

Beyond the Headlines

Many of the most popular Web-based news sources rely on the same wire services rather than employing the myriad of resources the Web offers, such as transcripts, reports, audio and video. Beyond The Headlines is more than merely another outlet for wire service headlines and the superficial reporting of breaking news. It strives to find primary materials and insightful analyses to allow readers to acquire something more valuable than information: knowledge.

Netcetera

Netcetera is “the rest of the Web.” It’s a motley, yet organized collection of hand picked sites, articles and multimedia that our team of writers and researchers finds compelling. Netcetera spotlights what is entertaining and thought-provoking online, whether it’s old video footage of a great comedian, a virtual tour of a distant country, a resource-filled article on issues of interest, or a profile of an inspiring person. Netcetera, like the rest of our site, aims to bring fresh, thought-provoking information to our users daily.

OK.  I’ve seen a lot of sites, but I’m game to try another.  So I clicked on shopping, then on the question “What stores are out there?”  (All of the sections are headed by a question, which I find mildly annoying but whatever.)  I then started down the list.  First one, same results as I’ve had for weeks.

One the second site, though, VOILA!

A Cross of Lorraine, fairly large (2 3/4 inches), pewter, and really inexpensive!

This was on a shopping site that I’d never heard of.  What’s interesting is that neither Google nor Yahoo searches even found the site, even though the cross was very clearly marked.

The bottom line is, rather than tilting at windmills (to continue the Man of LaMancha thread) I would give findingDulcinea a try.

My one personal quibble is that there is no search box for the site.  For instance, I wanted to find out what they had listed under libraries.  I couldn’t find anything about libraries…..and since there isn’t a search box, I don’t know if there is a section relating to libraries without delving into every category they have on the site.  (I looked under “books” and there’s a lot on how to buy books.  Not a thing about libraries.  Librarian of the Internet, my foot.)  The site is still in beta, so perhaps that will be corrected.

Regardless, give it a look.   It’s always good to have another tool in the toolbox!

1 Comment

Filed under Me and mine

One response to “Windmill Tilting

  1. Gene O'Neill

    Thanks for this nice find, Mary Beth ! My son is hell bent on becoming a lacrosse star next spring and I don’t know much about the sport. I went to findingdulcinea’s lacrosse guide and it seems to have a really good overview of the sport. I too have some issues with the format of the site but it does look like a good tool that often finds stuff that Yahoo and Google don’t find..

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