iSEEK is a new, neat search engine that as well as coming up with good results also clusters results into topics on the left hand side of your results screen. Clustering is not new: Clusty, for example, is just one of many search tools that have been doing this for several years. For my test searches, though, iSEEK comes up with more meaningful topics and clusters. These include places, people, organisations and date and time.

It passed with flying colours on my first test search – gin vodka sales uk. My “ego-search”  on Karen Blakeman also came up with good results and listed my various profiles on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn on the first page. The results from more test searches on other people’s names suggest that iSEEK gives priority to biographies and social media profiles. All of my test searches came up with relevant sites and in an order that was different from Google’s, so this could be a good Google alternative.

As well as the default “Web” search there is an “Education” option that appears to give priority to more research oriented pages. For some searches, for example “peak oil”, the topics on the left of the screen included US school grade level.

To search you can type in a natural language question or keywords, and use quotation marks around phrases, but that is it. There is no advanced search for searching by filetype for example. Nevertheless, I would recommend that you give it a try.

Hat tip to Peter Guillaume for recommending iSEEK.

Hants & Isle of Wight Web 2.0 Session

A reminder to all of you who attended the CILIP Hampshire & Isle of Wight evening meeting on Web 2.0 and social networking that the PowerPoint can be downloaded from . Anyone is free to download it if they wish but it probably won’t make much sense unless you were there and heard my commentary! It is also available on SlideShare at

You might also like to view the twitterstream that evolved over the evening by going to and searching on the hashtag #hiow . You will note the participants had their  priorities right by tweeting on the quality of the biscuits and tea/coffee :-)

A big thank you to all of you around the world who tweeted to us at the seminar about where you were, what you were doing and how you use Twitter. It really showed how great Twitter can be.

Workshop: Advanced Internet Search Strategies – London

A quick update on this full day workshop that is taking place in London on Wednesday, 18th February.  I can confirm that the workshop is indeed going ahead, barring a repeat of the Arctic blizzards we recently suffered! If you have not yet received confirmation of your booking (some letters appear to have gone astray) or would like to book a place please contact me at .

Further details about the event and a booking form can be found at

Are your savings safe?: Full guide to protect your cash

This page on MoneySavingExpert. com provides information on the protection offered by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) for UK savers. It outlines what type of savings and investments are covered by the scheme, should your bank or building society collapse. If you are in the fortunate position of having saved more than £50,000 – the maximum amount you would receive under the FSCS should your bank go bust –  then you ought to  think about spreading your investments across more than one financial institution.

There have been so many mergers in the UK banking sector that it is easy to lose track of who owns whom. To add to the confusion, two banks may have merged but still be registered as separate institutions under the FSA.  A table shows you which banks are standalone and which are part of the same institution. Any banks shaded in the same colour (except white) are linked and share protection. If you have money in a combination of linked banks you only receive one lot of the FSCS £50,000 safeguard. For example, if you have £40,000 in Birmingham Midshires and £30,000 in the Bank of Scotland you would only receive £50,000. In contrast NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland are at present registered as seperate institutions under the FSA and treated accordingly by the FSCS. If both went under and you had £40,000 in one and £30,000 in the other you would receive £70,000 under the FSCS.

There is basic information on European owned UK banks such as ING Direct, which are treated differently, and links to relevant pages on the FSA and FSCS web sites.

EIA – World Oil Price Timeline

The EIA World Oil Price Timeline is an annotated graph of the price of Saudi Light from 1970-1973 and Imported Refiner Acquisition Cost (IRAC) from 1974 to present. The blue line on the graph is the nominal price in US dollars per barrel and the red is the inflation adjusted price in January 2009 dollars. You can scroll along the time line to select a time period to view in more detail.

The letters on the graph refer to major events affecting the oil industry and  short summaries of  these are listed to the right. There are no links to the full articles and no information about the source of individual stories. There is, though, a list of the sources that are used at the bottom of the page and these include Energy Information Administration, Financial Times, International Oil Daily, Lloyd’s List and Reuters.

This is a neat tool that enables you to not only view the changing price of oil over the years but also to identify the events associated with those changes. As an example, take a look at the period 1975-1985 when the the oil price rose dramatically  in real terms.

Pageflakes RIP?

Pageflakes may be up again but there are questions about its long term viability. Phil Bradley’s blog posting Pageflakes is dead, or is it? may encourage you to think of moving your start page elsewhere. I moved UKeiG’s Pageflakes ‘stuff’ to Netvibes after the advertisement fiasco (see UKeiG Pageflakes content has moved to Netvibes).  As well as the lack of advance notice of adding adverts to pages – later withdrawn after many vociferous protests –  there had been technical problems, slow page loading,  and repeated down time.  We felt that we could no longer trust  Pageflakes nor could we  depend on them to provide a reliable service.

At the very least I would recommend that you document your Pageflakes content. In the longer term, consider moving to Netvibes or a similar service. Phil Bradley has a list of start pages at

Keeping up with #uksnow disruption

If  you are interested in monitoring how the snow is progressing across the UK Ben Marsh has compiled a Google-Twitter mashup to map tweets tagged with #uksnow. Twitter users have been using #uksnow for reports on the amount of snowfall and travel disruption that they encounter. If they also include the first part of their postcode and marks out of 10 for the amount of snowfall their tweet is automatically added to a Google map.  The site updates every minute.

#uksnow tweets 9.55 am 2nd February 2009