Before I opened the Ask Alice search engine, I had an image of a factual neutral website in front of me. When I opened Ask Alice, something completely different came out than I expected. The website is much more colorful and playful than I expected. The first thing I had to do was to find my way around the site. After I could orientate myself, I started with the title of my book. On this search term I already got 52 results. The first result was in Italian, but since I don’t understand Italian, I couldn’t do much with it.
The second book that appeared was in English. The book is called “The Book of the Courtier”. The first thing I noticed was that the book was all text. Not like my first book, which had a lot of drawings and was probably printed by hand. After looking at the table of contents, I saw that it has a people and subject index. Then I went there to look for my author or the name of his work. I found the name San Pietro. When I read the blurb, I realized that this San Pietro has nothing to do with mine, because this book is a fictional story of courtiers and ladies-in-waiting.
So I looked for a new word. With the term basilica di S. Pietro came out 315 such results. The first book was Petrarch, The Canzoniere. I almost wanted to go to the next book because the texts under the book were Italian again. When I opened the book, I noticed that the book was in English. After reading the first two sentences and seeing that the book is about lyrical poems, I concluded that this path is also a dead end.
After this second dead end, it seemed to me that I was looking in the wrong place. Only then I noticed that you can enter the theme. Then I realized that I won’t find anything about architecture under the topic love.
With the topic architecture and the same search term I then very quickly encountered better results. Now comes as a second book also Palladio so I go now in the right direction. When I search something with a name I noticed that this name often appears in the search results and this is the context.
I had a hard time working with Ask Alice because I didn’t really feel like I was making progress.