[I’m sitting in on Prof. Greene’s information gathering classes this morning…]
Hi everyone. I’m supposed to be providing some constructive criticism on your blog posts, but the odds are pretty good that I’ll be going off on a tangent or three, so here are links to a few things I figure I’ll be rambling on about:
- Technorati: This site has been around long enough to get verbed, as in, “Hey Steve, why don’t you Technorati that post on Scoble’s blog to find out how many people linked to it.” Use this to find out who is writing about a given topic, and subscribe to feeds of your searches.
- Google Blogsearch: Less bells and whistles than Technorati, but it’s quick and clear.
- Let’s just stop using Dictionary.com right now. Forget about it. Pretend it doesn’t exist. The first place you should be looking for a word is your AP Stylebook, and the second place is Merriam-Webster. This isn’t my opinion, it’s AP Style. Depending on which news organization you work for, the rules might be different, but for now, just get used to typing www.webster.com. If you use the Firefox browser (You’re not still using IE6, are you?), you can just add Merriam Webster to the list of search engines in that little box in the top-right corner of the page.
- Wikipedia rocks. Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re thinking “How can we trust these random dudes sitting in front of their computers who knows where?” I’m not asking you to use Wikipedia to figure out what’s going on in the West Bank or to find the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, but if you need to find out in a hurry how old Bill Frist is, you’re in luck. In other words, Wikipedia is generally safe to use for facts, but not for opinion or analysis. For that, you’ll want to find someone quotable, and you’ll want to talk to them.
Other things I might have mentioned…