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(`. Combing: The art of sailing in pure water .)
by loki
published at fravia's searchlores in October 2000
Very slightly edited by fravia+

[Combing] The art of sailing in pure water

A little of "methodology" about the information

Here is a first an fast attempt to explain my perception of the information on the internet.

First, taking community as a system :

What are Online Communities?
Online communities are any group of people who communicate with each other via computers. Online communities are supported by listservs, bulletin boards, chats, MUDs, MOOS or combinations of these software programs along with web pages. Some communities are complex with highly integrated sites, others comprise just a single bulletin board or listserv, some support geographical communities, others are purely virtual, some have real concerns while others are fantasy worlds. There are a wide variety of communities focusing on many topics including health, religion, education, culture, community, sports, pets, children, old age, professional issues, games and so on. Thousands of online communities exist and more come online everyday. Two particularly big growth areas are communities for health problems and electronic commerce.
There is a debate among sociologists about what exactly constitutes an online community and how theory of geographical communities relates to cyberspace, but we take a very broad all-inclusive view of online communities. For us, even lurkers can be part of an online community.
Today, users from diverse cultural backgrounds, computer expertise, and interests turn to online communities to reach others. The communication needs of this new and diverse population of users are different from the factual exchange of information by the traditional computer users. Many new communities serve a strong social function as well. For example, a support community for people with chronic back pain has different needs than a community discussing the intricacies of Java programming. People in patient support communities not only want information about their condition, but may also seek empathy from their fellow sufferers.

What is a system ?
I'll take as a system something that has got its own language, and its own grammar ( language and grammar reffering to the logical context)
These data are obviously in perpetual evolution, knowing that a community is composed by indivual people, possibly acting on others community.

The knowledge of the Language allows to make research inside a community.
For exemple, if we know that journalists use the term "breaking news" to say "first hand" information, the use of this term can help you refining your searches and sailing in a sea of journalism.
Here are a few words that can be usefull for news research :
"actuality, new, news, news services, information,  new media,  
network, networking, wire service, media relations, presse, press, magazine,
newspaper, journal, journaux, journalisme, journalism, media, social news, 
politic news, ... "
I took those terms from the strategic-road index. This portal is a big index for strategical searches. On each subjet, they offer you a list of terms to refine your searches.

Now that we have defined more or less ( i need a more scientific demonstration ... for a next update ) what are communities, we can think of how information is circulating inside them.
The emitter of an information on internet is in general in possession of a "first-hand" knowledge.
Passing from community to community, this one is being polluted, losing its quality, and can became totaly infect. Hoax are a good examples to this propagation of information :)

Let's go a little deeper in the scheme i'm trying to build. I represent myself the information under the form of two layers : one layer said "pure information layer" or "high layer" and one said "zombies layer" or "low layer"
We are all naviguating, or participating in both layers (at least i hope :p pure zombies stay downstairs), the higher layer being lived by specialists communities in a given domain. Information circulate from up to down ( rarely the inverse .. but everything is possible).
The AFP (agence francaise de la presse) could be in that configuration a kind of big filter between the high layer and the low one. Even between the low one and the low one :P
I had the opportunity to compare the reality face to the news emitting from the AFP, in a domain i know, the reversing. I was charged for a cracking affair, and, after my arrestation, i could read the information published by the AFP : a totally inept text, lies, deformations etc ... It's not less saying that i've got nowadays no trust in the AFP :)

"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
Winston Churchill

We are in war ... commerce IS war ( http://www.infoguerre.com/view.php3?topic=ConnaissancesLiens : Managing information in an hostile environment ).
There is even a high school in france that's named : Economical War School. The military strategies are used in an economical context.

So, the aim in that configuration of the information is to keep in the higher layer, or to reach it from the poor information we found.

Let's take an example :

Sailing in an "intelligence" sea

In this essay, i'll try to expose you a trip i made in what i think is a high layer. During my searches, i don't know anymore now how i reached it, i found a site dedicating to the "global strategic information", a portal published by IndigoPublication. They provide "Le Monde du Renseignement".
Knowing that the subscription is really expensive (i know it's not a general truth), 1500$ a year if i remember right, i consider that this site is dedicated to professionals of the intelligence.
If i said ealier " i think " that's because i begin from the hypothese that this site is locating in the high layer. This i only MY interpretation, with the little i know in this domain.

So, the target is http://www.intelligenceonline.com
It's now time to see in wich "environment" is floating this portal. For that, a simple request on ragingsearch let us find wich sites are pointing to the Indigo Publication's one.

Here is a little selection i made from the results, and for some that hurt my curiosity, a deeper exploration ( the indentation represents the number of clic between intelligence-online and the page.

Information Intelligence
	Gov. Search Engines
	http://www.dso.com/ Welcome to SOURCES,tm 
	The Security Intelligence News Service Today's Intelligence -- 
	Tomorrow's Headlines 
	This is an unofficial web site for researchers, students, 
	and interested browsers. Certain locations or sections 
	thereof may be closed to unauthorized use. Please read access 
	warnings, if any, and abide by them
		Investigators guide to source of information
		Needs to be evaluated 
		ChapterV: Investigator's guide to Internet
		Advanced Fielded Search / Technical Reports Collection
		Department of Defense Resource Locator
		Publications and Regulations (huge list of pdf publications)
		(search engine of .mil domains with caches pages) 
		DoD Guide to Marking Classified Documents 
		Freedom of information Act Handbook
		Air University Student Research Papers / This database 
		contains information on all research being conducted at Air 
		University and provides access to full-text research products.
	newsfeeds and references from over 2000 sources, 
	organized into 200 categories, all focused on providing 
	operational, actionable intelligence to decision makers.
Enlightened one :) (part of the other side)
Article about : French Say Windows is BackDoored By NSA  
(an article was published in a publication of intelligence online)
Foreign intelligence
Maori News Online
Wide-ranging collection of links to sites of interest 
to media-junkies, lawyers and law students... 
(down .. i like the term Media-Junky)
Enlightened ones, some links to crypto, echelon, etc... 
part of the other side (hackers, seekers etc...)
open sources links
	Lexis Nexis 
		Welcome to LEXIS-NEXIS Source Locator, a 
		powerful new tool for retrieving targeted 
		information about the more than 30,000 LEXIS-NEXIS 
	The World's Leading Provider of 
	Financial Information and News
	SilverPlatter is a global leader in providing comprehensive 
	and seamlessly integrated database collections of scholarly 
	reference information in electronic form 
	Intelligence Watch Report / Terrorism Watch Report
	Pinkerton Global Intelligence Services (PGIS) 
	based in Washington, DC, has monitored and reported 
	on international security threats and events related 
	to terrorism, crime and civil unrest, and has helped 
	protect executives and property around the world, since 1978. 

	Database in Science and Technology
		Trademark Explorer ( l/p )
		Intellectual Property Information
	Consumer Market Research ?
	ReliefWeb Serving the information needs of the Humanitarian Relief Community.
Military Publication

We have a first list of pages pointing to intelligence online, wich are generally indexes ( collection of links ).
W I remember that i didn't took the time to evaluate the sites i found.

Let's take the DoD Guide to Marking Classified Documents ( usefull if you want to write Classified Documents for your RPG parties :p) as an example :
To reach that one, we made one backlink from intelligence online, and two directlinks to get there. Three clic away from IO (btw, the web gots a diameter of 19 clics, see here ).
Obviously, it's a brutal information collect, without precise objectives. The only thing we are sure of (at least a little) , it's our target :)
To apply this technique, it'd be interesting to index the found pages, to form a sea, a lac, a pool of information around a theme, then to make a classical search in it.

An application : Writing a spider

The goal of this spider is to make automatically what i did manually. I'll need to read the essays written in the bot section to build a tool that can manage that.
With the url of a target, and a depth paramater, the spider will find ( with a database of searchengines using the link:"" feature ) all indexed pages pointing to the target. It'll be possibile to go backlink or directlink.
It'd be usefull to add some filtering possibility to sort out pages relating to our search in the sea it has formed.
in progress ...