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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Swimming, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 50 > Articles > The Search for Knowledge

The Search for Knowledge

by shidi

NEOPIA CENTRAL - Search engines all over the net make the quest for knowledge and information a lot easier. Did you know that there are search engines to be found all over Neopets and that you can extract valuable information from them? This article examines some of the search functions of Neopets and how to effectively use them.

Yellow Sidebar Search
Down at the bottom of the yellow sidebar, you will find a white area in which you can type with a button marked Go. "search neopets" is written under the bar in incredibly non-punctuated and non-capitalised minimalist text. From this, we can assume that this search engine will, well, search Neopets. This is only partially true. There are a few specific things this main search is good for:

1. Search for a pet or user name. If you type the name of a pet or a user into this search bar, you will be provided with the profile of that user or pet. In cases where a pet and a user are named the same, it will give you a link to each, which you must then click.

2. Search for an item. If you give specific information, such as teal juppie, it will turn up that particular item. If you just type in juppie, it would turn up a list of many juppie items, and you would then click on the one that is relevant to you. You then see a description of the item, and the options to search for it on the shop wizard or to see if it is in stock at the store that carries it (if it is sold in stores.) This is very useful when you need to learn what store stocks a particular item.

3. Search for a Neopedia article. This side search will sometimes give you a link to an article in the Neopedia. However, it is usually far more efficient to search the Neopedia directly (we'll be covering that later in this article). For example, my search on the word juppie also yielded two Neopedia articles: The Golden Juppie and The Juppie Smugglers.

4. Search for Help on a particular question. If you type in the keyword 'guild', for example, you get 37 different help topics that are guild related. For best results, if you can't find the topic you need help on by using this main search engine, proceed to the Help area for a more helpful search.

5. Search for various site features. Games and NeoGreetings, for example, will show up in the main search bar. If you're bored sometime, try putting various topics into the search bar, and see what you can turn up. You can really learn your way around the site and see some of the interesting history behind objects this way. (There are 74 results for the word 'faerie', ranging across all of these categories, for example.)

Neopian Times Search
Yes, the very newspaper you are reading right now can be searched for a variety of purposes. This search engine won't search the entire site like the yellow sidebar search, however - this is specific to The Neopian Times area. Some things you can search for:

1. Search for an author. Type the name of your favourite author into the search box, and you can see everything that author has written since Week 1 of the current format of The Neopian Times was released. For example, typing Shidi into it yields a complete list of my works, from A Grarrl Called Harry in issue 6, to this article you're reading right now. Sometimes, a search will include things that are relevant to that author, even if they are not something that the person is directly credited for. For example, the comics I wrote the storyline for will also come up in this search.

2. Search by subject. Are you looking for an article that will teach you how to write for the Times? Try searching for writer, or writing. For some reason unknown to this author, my Writing Workshop series will not show up in this search, though some other great articles about writing do. Looking for how to play a specific game? Try typing the name of the game into the search box for some articles written on the subject. For example, Destruct-O-Match yielded three results, one of which was a game guide.

3. Search by species. Are you looking for a story about your favourite Neopet? Try typing his or her species in. For example, putting Grarrl into the search gives you 31 results, including all of my Harry the Grarrl stories as well as some other great Grarrl adventures.

Help Search
Help would be a lot more helpful if they had an actual list of the topics available, so that you could peruse it if you just wanted to read more about the site. As it is, by clicking on Help on the yellow sidebar you will be taken to the Help area, where you can ask your question to Sara the Zafara. Of course, because you can only enter one word into it, this is frequently a hit or miss situation. Try to think of the most important word in your question, put it in, click, and hope for the best. Repeat nearly endlessly until you actually find an answer, or grow bored with reading all the totally non-related things that pop up. This search is also hampered by the fact that you get completely different results from typing incredibly similar words. For example, typing in faerie gives you ten results whereas faeries gives you only four. Password help gives you four results, passwords gives you one warning about never giving yours out. Good luck using this feature successfully to actually obtain information - you'll need it. Patience also helps.

The Shop Wizard, Auction Genie, and Trading Post
The most famous search area on Neopets, the shop wizard is an invaluable tool for pricing your shop competitively and for obtaining the item you want at the best price. You may want to refresh several times to ensure best results, as he only searches a specific area of the market each time. Notice the drop down list - you can search for an item containing your phrase, or matching your phrase exactly. Very useful. The pricing function (Min price/Max price) I have found incredibly non-useful, and therefore, don't bother with; it allows you to limit your search to only shops that list the item as being between the minimum and maximum prices you list.

The Auction Genie functions in a similar manner to the shop wizard, only his search area is the auctions. Use this feature to seek a specific item that is up for auction. The Trading Post search engine can be found under the Browse Lots feature. It allows you to look up an item 'Containing my phrase' or 'Identical to my phrase' like the shop wizard, but it also lets you search by a lot number or a username.

Safety Deposit Search
Are you a junk collector? This search feature lets you hunt through pages and pages of your collection for that one item you need to find. This is a very specific search, however, so you will need to type in the exact name of the object in question. If you knew that, however, you'd probably already know if it was in your box or not, so the usefulness of this feature is questionable at best, unless you literally have hundreds of items in your deposit box.

Neopedia Search
Don't bother with the deceptively functional-looking species drop down list - we tried this several times, and never got it to show any results whatsoever. You can, however, type a keyword into the search box and have it turn up articles on that subject. Search for a world, a character, an object, or a species name and this helpful feature will turn up relevant articles with that word in their titles.

Battlepedia Search The Battlepedia allows you to search by weapon name, or part of a weapon name. You could, for example, type in 'lightning beam' to see all the lightning beams, or Acara to see all the weapons specifically for Acaras. You could also try putting in an element type, such as fire, to find objects with 'fire' in the name.

Perhaps I've missed a search or two along the way, but I'm hoping that you've learned something from this article - information is often forthcoming to those who search for it. So the next time you're a bit lost, and don't know where to find that information you need-\, look it up in one of these great search features! As always, if you have a question or a comment about the content of this article, feel free to Neomail me.

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