I’ve been writing and thinking about search engines and Web search since 1996.

The writing has not been incessant but the thinking has. For a long time I’ve privately pondered questions like:

  1. How do you search when you’re just starting? How do you ask for what you don’t know?
  2. How can one use commonly-understood metadata to inform and direct a user’s search in a transparent way?
  3. How can we put the same amount of care in developing a data pool to explore as we do into developing a search query?
  4. What are ways we can ethically take real-world data like location and blend it into a Web or social media search?

In the last four or five years I’ve tried to explore some of these questions using Google Sheets as a platform. But that platform is hard to share and expand. So I’ve created these Search Gizmos to explore different ways we can approach finding things online that have nothing to do with AI or black box technologies. If you just want to dive in I’ve created a big list with descriptions of about 50 Gizmos. On the other hand, perhaps you’re interested in different categories. Maybe you’d like to try: 

News Search / Web Search Gizmos – Gizmos to make the most of searching Google News and create the best possible search engine queries.

Wikipedia Gizmos – Gizmos to explore Wikipedia itself, use Wikipedia and Wikidata to inform a Google search, extract useful Wikidata, and more.

Location Search Gizmos – Search Twitter by physical location, find local community events, get earthquake information, and more.

Everything Else –  A Twitter receipt machine and PD prompts.

All the Mastodon tools have been moved to MastoGizmos.com. The URLs on this site will automatically redirect.

If you’re looking for RSS tools you want RSSGizmos.com .


  If you’d like to read my thoughts on search and opportunities which could be explored, I’ve written a series of articles at ResearchBuzz: 


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