Saturday, September 18, 2004


The learning journey continues...

Do you ever the get the feeling that you are using the same phrase or discussion points again and again in reports, documents and blogs?

What about the feeling that you have a specific issue in a document somewhere on your computer, but can’t remember in which one and where?

If the above two questions ring true for you, then take the time to look at Blinkx. It's a free search engine that will simplify the task of writing reports and your other document and posts. It provides a fast and sophisticated search of local documents on your hard drive, your email, newsfeeds, weblogs, video clips and more.

According to the Blinkx website, it is not designed to replace current search engines like Google or Yahoo, but is a completely new way to use information on the internet. It has a slick little toolbar that floats in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and gives you immediate results from these different sources. It works with Google or with other search engines and is certainly growing rapidly.

See the recent article in July 15th Guardian on how this has been developed,3605,1260983,00.html

Since its low-key launch at the end of July, some 800,000 people have downloaded the technology. Hundreds of thousands more are probably using it after downloading Blinkx from other websites or from CDs cover-mounted on magazines.

Kathy Rittweger, Blinkx's founder feels that technology should take care of all the key words and be able to bring all the information to us before we ask; she says "This is about technology serving us."

My thanks go to David St Lawrence for his original link to Blinkx.

David writes: “From what I have seen so far, Blinkx may be the workaround which allows a writer to access all of his documents as if they were entered in a database. This gives me a huge advantage, because my filing is based on the notion that I need everything spread out where I can locate it easily. The hierarchical approach to filing has never worked for me because I relate things in so many different ways. There are probably more of these "internal/external" search engines coming along, but I will continue to investigate Blinkx until I have a fuller understanding of its capabilities.”

Why not try it out and post your comments here as to how useful it has been for you.

The POL Experience

Monday, September 06, 2004


The learning journey continues...

Well, that's done....both kids off to school this morning heralding the end of the summer holidays for 2004.

We have such strong memories of our school days given that they take up so much of our young lives, I especially want my two to have good memories so as to underpin the way they approach learning in the future, and in particular Lifelong Learning, for when they start their working lives as I know from my experience how important this is.

After a lively discussion, at dinner with friends last week, about the apparent failure of the British education system over the last 30 years and the emotional highs of this morning I find myself reflecting upon the work I am currently involved in (developing a scheme to help the unemployed in one small part of London to get jobs). Many of the applicants forms that I see make me think that perhaps they have long since forgotton the basics from their school days - if indeed they mastered them in the first place. This is all too apparent from the numbers that do not make the entry level grade in basic literacy and numeracy - a minimum requirement for many of the positions they want.

These job hopefuls however, can now get help with everything from pre-employment support and training in communication skills, assertiveness, interviewing etc., as well as the opportunity to refresh or re-learn their Key Skills to equip them with what they need to help them survive in business life.

How to get this message across to my two youngsters who have yet to realise the importance of school life - ah now that's a hard one. I picked up a nice quote from the presentation at my son's secondary school that emphasised the need to use what is being learned so as to avoid losing it - maybe this is where I can start.

"The great aim of education is not simply knowing, but taking action"
Herbert Spencer - 19th Century, theorist and educationalist

The POL Experience