Hock, Randolph 1944-
HOCK, Randolph 1944-
PERSONAL: Born 1944; married; wife's name, Pamela; children: Matthew, Stephen, Elizabeth. Education: Salisbury State University, B.S.; University of Maryland, M.L.S.; Temple University, M.A., Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Online Strategies, 9919 Corsica St., Vienna, VA 22181. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Consultant and writer. Held management and training positions with Dialog and Knight-Ridder Information services; reference librarian at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; University of Maryland, College Park, instructor in College of Information Studies; Lesley University, Cambridge, adjunct faculty member in technology in education program. Founder of Online Strategies, Vienna, VA.
MEMBER: American Society for Information Science and Technology, Association of Independent Information Professionals.
AWARDS, HONORS: Inducted into Internet Librarian Hall of Fame.
The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines:A Handbook for the Serious Searcher, CyberAge Books (Medford, NJ), 1999, revised edition, 2001.
The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook: A Guide for the Serious Searcher, CyberAge Books (Medford, NJ), 2004.
Contributor to periodicals, including Online and CyberSkeptic's Guide to Internet Research.
SIDELIGHTS: Well-known Internet trainer and speaker Randolph Hock's first volume, The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines: A Handbook for the Serious Searcher, was updated and reprinted in 2001. EContent contributor Deborah Lynne Wiley, who reviewed the first edition, wrote that "it offers opinions as well as facts." Wiley noted that in addition to telling the reader what each of the search engines can accomplish, Hock "uses his years of experience . . . to provide tips on when you would want to use a particular search engine and on what to avoid." Hock dedicates one chapter to each of the major search engines he includes and devotes several chapters to Yahoo!, which he terms a "directory." He provides the results of his own tests, noting which search engines came up with the differing results. Information Today contributor Gwen Gregory noted that "several charts present handy comparisons of the major search engines' methods of searching, including construction of Boolean searches, truncation, and field searching." The book contains a glossary and index. The completely revised version of the volume updates available search engines, including the several that came online in the period since the first edition was published. Hock keeps his information up-to-date on a Web site dedicated to the book. He also maintains a site for his company, Online Strategies.
Hock writes that there is "tremendous retrieval power that can be utilized with just a little increase in effort and knowledge. . . . This book attempts to organize and make easily accessible that material which is necessary for effective searching. It does not intend to include all the minutiae and the theoretical issues relating to Web search engines, but rather focus on the practical—on knowledge that's useful and necessary for finding relevant answers quickly." Because of the speed of change on the Internet, even from the time of the writing of the second edition to its publication much had happened, which is why Hock maintains up-to-date information on his Web site. Link-Up contributor Thomas Pack reviewed the second edition, saying that "knowing how to get the best results from Web Search engines is a necessary skill for many of us today, and Hock deftly explains how to build that skill with his well-written and thoroughly researched handbook."
Hock's The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook: A Guide for the Serious Searcher goes beyond his previous book in that it does not focus exclusively on search engines, but also discusses a number of other resources, including directories, groups, lists, and portals. Gregory commented that working professionals probably know most of what Hock covers here, and felt that it "is most appropriate for the beginning professional or for the layperson who wants to go beyond the simple Google [a popular search engine] search."
The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook does not concentrate on one area, but rather covers the complete spectrum of Internet use, including how to create a Web page and free options for hosting it. Gregory noted that it "includes a glossary of Internet terms and a list of URLs for resources mentioned in the text. The book is well-laid-out, with helpful screen shots of Web pages included in relevant spots. Special tips are included in the margins with a cute surfer logo." Many of the topics are covered at Hock's Web site, which updates this book as well.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Hock, Randolph, The Extreme Searcher's Guide toWeb Search Engines: A Handbook for the Serious Searcher, CyberAge Books (Medford, NJ), 1999, revised edition, 2001.
Australian Library Journal, May, 2003, David Mason, review of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines: A Handbook for the Serious Searcher, p. 193.
Chemistry and Industry, September 4, 2000, Alex Crawford, review of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines, p. 577.
EContent, October-November, 1999, Deborah Lynne Wiley, review of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines, p. 85.
Information Today, July-August, 1999, Gwen Gregory, review of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines, p. 55; September, 2004, Gregory, review of The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook: A Guide for the Serious Searcher, p. 44.
Library Journal, September 1, 2001, Chris Ziener, review of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines, p. 227; May 1, 2004, Rachel Singer Gordon, review of The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook, p. 136.
Link-Up, July-August, 2002, Thomas Pack, review of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines, p. 15.
Multimedia Schools, September-October, 1999, review of The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines, p. 38.
Online, September-October, 2004, Deborah Lynne Wiley, review of The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook, p. 61.
Randolph Hock Home Page/Extreme Searcher's WebPage,http://www.extremesearcher.com/ (November 15, 2004).
Randolph Hock Home Page/Online Strategies,http://www.onstrat.com (November 15, 2004).*