The World Wide Web (known as "WWW', "Web" or "W3") is the universe of network-accessible information, the embodiment of human knowledge.Drawn from 'About the World Wide Web', by the World Wide Web Consortium.
There are some fantastic research resources on the World Wide Web. There is also a lot of junk. The two different techniques that you will use to separate the two:
Entering search terms and reviewing results provided by a full text search facility.
Following links to move from a general term or subject area to a more specific area.
This page will give some tips on browsing (or burrowing), using three different Web site: the Open Directory Project; the World Wide Web Virtual Library; and del.icio.us. I have written a separate page that talks about searching the Web.
The Open Directory Project (ODP or sometimes DMOZ) provides a catalogue of topics. You can drill down into each topic, looking for more and more specific information. This can be handy when you want to explore a general area, rather than answer a specific question.
"The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors." About the Open Directory Project
Open Directory Project also provides an advanced search page. This allows you to search the whole project, or restrict your search to specific categories. Note that you are not searching the full text of the Web pages (as with other search engines), but the descriptions that editors have provided that describe the Web pages.
"The ODP is 100% free. There is no cost to submit a site or to use our data. Anyone can download and use ODP data at no cost provided they comply with the ODP's free license agreement and attribution. Also, there is no cost associated with listing and submitting sites."
"The ODP is hosted and administered by Netscape Communication Corporation. It is operated by a very small staff responsible for editorial policies and direction, community management and development, and systems engineering. However, the ODP is first and foremost a self-regulating community of net-citizens that basically runs itself. Through a system of self-governance, the ODP volunteer editors manage the directory's growth and development, and through a system of checks-and-balances, ensure the directory is of superior quality. "
"The ODP is developed and managed by a constantly growing community of net-citizens who are experts in their areas of interest." Who We Are And What We Do
As with the World Wide Web Virtual Libary (below), category editors update the Open Directory Project. "To become an editor, you need to fill out an application. ... Your application will be evaluated by one of the community's senior editors." How to Become an Editor
The World Wide Web Virtual Library is an attempt to catalogue useful authoritative web sites. If it has a catalogue for your area, it will probably be excellent.
The WWW Virtual Library "...is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert." About the Virtual Library
The WWW Virtual Library provides a subject catalogue, which you may burrow into to find areas related to your topic.
It also provides a search facility, so that you may search for areas related to your topic. You might like to try both and compare the ease of use, feeling of control and time that it took you to find something useful.
Please note: You might draw a blank. Not all topics are covered by the Virtual Library or the World Wide Web. As well as developing a strategy for finding material, you need to develop a strategy to stop looking.
Del.icio.us provides a slightly different way to drill down into the Web. Del.icio.us allows anybody to add descriptive tags to Web pages.
The primary use of del.icio.us is to store your bookmarks online, so you can access them from anywhere. Ways to use del.icio.us
Because all the bookmarks are public, you can browse the different tags that people have used. The most popular tags are shown as a 'cloud', with size indicating just how popular each tag is.