Yahoo! Clubs and Excit[ing] Communities Everyone wants to be a portal-those entre?s to the Web where everyone begins and ends their surfing. As AOL discovered long ago, one of the best ways to accomplish this was to create communities (or at least places where people of like minds/needs could congregate). And although conducting your data mining via a portal should not comprise your total efforts, you might consider checking out some of the clubs and communities to see who you can find. For instance, Yahoo! hosts more than 460 clubs focusing on computer software, hardware and programming languages. Think of who might be there. And, these are the recruiters’ ultimates-they’re not necessarily job-hunting! The communities at Excite are still in beta testing, and you can only join if invited or if your request for membership is approved by the community administrator. So for now, it’s a place to bookmark and calendar for a later look. Gates Is At It Again A beta version of Microsoft’s Internet Search engine debuted recently, with a very HotBot look. Which makes sense since Inktomi powers them both. They’re not yet saying how many pages they’ve indexed, but a search for “resume” brought up 471,081 pages against HotBot’s 474,591 and Alta Vista’s 3.8+ million. And while we think there can never be enough search engines to satisfy our need to keep up-to-date, the MSN engine is plagued by the same problem that afflicts HotBot – difficult connections and the need to reload search pages. But, it’s early yet and this is a Beta version. Who knows? Maybe Gates has enough clout to fix it all. Stay Tuned In the next few weeks, we’ll look in depth at Lycos, Infoseek and Northern Light (a favorite). But, for those of you who need to know now, check out the ultimate in search engine news at Search Engine Watch where the amazing Danny Sullivan offers more insight than you might want into how these beasts work. A worthwhile visit, again and again, to stay abreast of search engine technology.