September 2001
Issue 9
Volume 6
 
 
  In This Issue
Web Site Helps You Market Purdue Extension
Some Secrets of Search Engines
Grammar Trap: A Lot vs. Alot

Web Site Helps You Market Purdue Extension

Want to brand Purdue Extension, write a marketing plan, or find Knowledge to Go marketing materials? Visit my newly revised Web site, Purdue Extension Marketing.

I've created this site to offer short, to-the-point articles on how to market Purdue Extension. For example, if you click on the word
"Branding," you'll see a one-page article on how to brand Purdue Extension. There are guidelines on using the name and access to a style sheet for Knowledge to Go.

More and more people are asking for a "county-level" marketing plan. No one plan will work for all counties because they each have a unique marketing situation based around the educators, programs, and media in that county. But the page linked to this site under "County Communication & Marketing" gives eight steps you can work through to write your own county marketing plan. Contact me if you have questions as you work with this guideline.

For specialists or educators who are developing a program, project, or service from scratch, there's a page explaining how development and marketing go hand-in-hand. From the Purdue Extension marketing home page, click on "Project & Program Marketing," and you'll see how to include marketing upfront to make your project more successful.

You can bookmark the URL above, or you can access the site from the Purdue Extension Intranet. It's located under "Educational Program Support." Click on "Communication & Marketing."

As I develop more materials, I'll add them to this page. For example, I'm working with the Indiana Extension Educators Association to write template Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for radio. By annual conference (mid-October), those PSAs will be available on this site. And there will be more to come.

Steve Cain <cain@purdue.edu>


Some Secrets of Search Engines

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' 1999 Consumer Technology Survey, the use of search engines is the second most popular use of the Internet after email. If this is so, why can't you find anything you really wantwhen you use one? And, if your search does work, why do you get hundreds of irrelevant links that take a great deal of time and thought to sift through?

One problem with search engines is that the depth of their Web content search is not that deep. According to an article in "Science Magazine" by Steve Lawrence and C. Lee Giles, in 1998 the Hotbot.com search engine performed the widest Internet search, covering 58% of the content. With the explosion of Internet content, by 1999, Hotbot only covered 27%, and 1999's best search engine was Northern Light, which only covered 38% of Internet content.

Another problem with search engines is that they don't think or read your mind. They do just what you tell them to.

Even in the face of this discouraging news, there are some strategies you can use to get the best search results.

Think Boolean

Use Boolean search terms like AND, OR, and NOT to specify your searches.

Example: You're trying to find out more about a corn rootworm problem that happened in Indiana in 1999. You should type into your search engine: corn AND rootworm AND Indiana AND 1999.

Use Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks around your search term.

Example: You want to learn more about a program called Safe Food for the Hungry, but that's absolutely ALL you want to learn about. Enter: "Safe Food for the Hungry."

Add Another Word

If you want your search to be even narrower, try adding another word to make your search more discriminating.

Example: corn AND rootworm AND Indiana AND 1999 AND Extension

Subtract for More Specificity

To further narrow your search, use the subtraction symbol (-).

Example: You want to find out more about the sinking of the Titanic, but you don't want to hit the fan sites for Leonardo DiCaprio and the movie "Titanic." Enter: Titanic -movies

Try Another One

As I said above, every search engine has a limited search area. So, if at first you don't succeed, just try another search engine. Here are some of the more popular sites:

http://www.altavista.com
http://www.google.com
http://www.hotbot.com
http://www.infoseek.com
http://www.northernlight.com

Randy Spears


Grammar Trap: A Lot vs. Alot

Someone recently did a Web search of "On Target", looking for "alot."

The sad thing is that the person didn't find anything. The good thing is that it gave me a topic for this issue's "Grammar Trap."

"A lot" is a two-word phrase that means many or much.

Examples: She has a lot of friends. I have a lot of work to do. We had a lot of fun.

When do you use "alot" to mean many or much? Never. It's a common mistake. Don't make it.

Do you have a grammar (or usage) trap you'd like to see discussed? Do you have a tip that will help the rest of us avoid one? If so, please let me know.

Visit <http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/ontarget/grammartrap/> for past "Grammar Traps."

Laura Hoelscher <lah@purdue.edu>

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