Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Search Routine

Sometimes we get into a routine of looking for information a certain way. I know people who strike out with Google and decide that there must be no information available anywhere in the world on the topic. The thought of other search engines, let alone actual books, never enters their mind. Others have the reverse problem. I have friends and relatives who make statements that scream "This can't be true. Google that!" and never think to check for accuracy. My problem is that I often check facts mid-conversation, especially (but not exclusively) while on the phone. No doubt this can be annoying.

Which brings me to something I noticed this morning. I may be the last customs professional to have noticed this. Generally, when I visit www.cbp.gov, I go to two locations. Most often, I click on "Legal" to get to something . . . well, legal. Other times, I go right to CROSS and look for rulings. This morning, my Newsgator aggregator told me there was something new on the CBP site. When I clicked, I was in the Customs Answers service. This is a nice knowledge base search tool similar to what technology companies use to provide online help. I have not reviewed much of the information here, but it seems like good general information particularly for the non-commercial importer and travelers.

As long as we are talking about online tools, I recently saw that the faculty at California Western School of Law is producing short legal analysis podcasts. They are called "Law in 10" and promise to be 10 minutes or less. There are not many posted yet, but it seems like a good idea for a law school.

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