James writes: “Recently doing a project for school, I have decided to compose a Top 5 List of ways to find information. I feel that these may help anyone who’s looking for information, and the community at large.”
- Google It. Google has become, undoubtedly, the world’s largest and most comprehensive search engine. Although Yahoo may have that really cool voice when you click the exclamation point, that is not a reason to use that particular search engine. However, if for any reason, you find any search engine better than Google, use it! All in all, you should make your primary way of searching for information in a search engine. Also, you may wish to type in “Pirillo *what you’re searching for* to receive results about anything Chris has blogged (or vlogged?) about. For example, typing in “Pirillo Garlic Recipes” will bring you to the blog where Chris talked about all the things you can do with garlic in food.
- Sign up for an internet question-answer site like Answerbag (recommended) or Yahoo Answers. These are sites in which you post questions and other people in the community answer your question based on their own personal knowledge and/or research that they have done especially for you. These sites can have your question answered in less than 30 seconds. But be warned, these sites can become very addicting when asking and answering questions.
- Ask the community in Chris’ chat room. People are always around 24/7/366 (in this year’s case) talking and asking questions. Don’t be afraid to dive in and ask any one of us any question at all. Who knows, that one person in the chat room may have the answer that you have been looking for for a while but could never find out. Asking our community and joining in on our conversations is always fun and just you just might be able to find an answer. However, don’t just ask questions, answer them too! Give back to the community and make ours a more pleasurable one with your input.
- Don’t be afraid to use Wikipedia! Just because the community at large is able to edit all entries does not automatically make all the data inside its articles false. Across my researches, I have never found one problem with the information available on Wikipedia and neither have any of my teachers. If your looking for quick information, go to Wikipedia and search for the topic. You’ll be surprised by the amount of data that will be available to you (and most likely correct). Use your common sense in determining whether the information you find is correct or incorrect (for example, “The violin is a stringed instrument with no strings,” would obviously be an incorrect statement. If you must, back up the data you find on Wikipedia with another source. Also, just don’t blame Wikipedia for all your woes. Any person can put up a web site and just because it’s not Wikipedia doesn’t make the information automatically correct.
- If all else fails (or even if all else succeeds), go to your local library. Libraries have a vast amount of information available for free that you could use for research. Also, if it is a formal project (either school or occupational), many people prefer published documentation to the unpublished information. Librarians are kind people who are willing to direct you in the direction of the information you are looking for. Theoretically, they are your human, alive version of Google. Books have been around for centuries, even before Johannes Gutenberg, and will never fail to be a good source of information.
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