Finding stuff is something we all do all the time. It does not matter if it is research for a school, work, home purchases or something else. Finding information is not only very important but the whole process is made very easy using your computer and the internet. After all that is why the internet was created in the first place. I will cover how to locate information in many areas but you are not limited to just these. This is just a good framework to follow to find just about any kind of information on the net but you do not have to limit yourself to these items. Your only limit in your quest for knowledge is all known information on the net and in computers around the world. Of course there is the “Deep Web” which will have more to find you just need to know how to find it. But I will save that for a future article if the demand is there.
I will only be covering free methods of finding stuff. There are of course pay services but these are more for professional services such as detectives or research firms. For looking up some information to get something done in your daily life it would just be a waste of money.
1. Finding people: Let of start with FaceBook(https://www.facebook.com/) . Over 1 Billion people use this system and it is great for finding that long lost friend but we want to go beyond this. Let us not forget it is fairly easy to put false or misleading information on FaceBook. Zaba Search ( http://www.zabasearch.com/) Is highly recommended. This is a good place to start but you will not get a complete address with out paying and this typical of all of these type of services but it is a good starting place. Next I would head over to LinkedIn(https://www.linkedin.com/). If the person is in business then this is a good place to go. I have over a dozen (people search) such places bookmarked under people search but they are mostly like these.
2. Government: Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/). If you want to find out who is your representative in Congress, historical pictures or just browse one of the many museums of history this is the place to go.
3. Fact check: Do not believe everything you read about on the internet. Check here before reporting it as fact to someone, especially E-mails from relatives, friends, or from twitter. Check here first before sending on “good” information. Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/). In the past you mostly received your political information from friends, relatives and maybe newspapers or TV & radio personalities than were highly biased to match your thoughts. The internet now allows making it much more easy to find out more information about a political position. Check our Factcheck.org. (http://www.factcheck.org/).
4. Scholarly information: Infomine: (http://infomine.ucr.edu/) Is a good source of scientific information. Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/) is a good starting place for Cited scholarly information.
References: This is always a very useful category. It does not matter what you are reading about every area or endeavor of life has it’s own language. You come across all kinds of acronyms such as BBC, ATA, EFF and the list is as long as there are specialized areas of anything. Well this is the time to head on over to acronymfinder(http://www.acronymfinder.com/). Find out what all these letters stand for. You have the word or words spelled out now you need the definition. Try yourdictionary (http://www.yourdictionary.com/). Now that you have the world you need a different word that is more suitable to lyour audience. Try synonym-finder (http://www.synonym-finder.com/).
This is just a starting point on finding stuff. To make things easy to find start creating bookmarks in a bookmark folder for the different catregories in a folder named search. You would then put each of these in categories. This would make it very easy to find different things at a moments notice to get that work report ready for tomorrow. Although it is of course a good ideas to have many categories sorted out in advance of need, It would just not be possible to get everything listed in this. Have some done in advance such as Word referance subdivided further. Business would be good for business research. How about a folder for medical to help find out about your medical information as an example. Your choices are limitless. As you come across a site that you feel is a good place for some type of information you can put into a categorized folder that you can go to in the future just create and add it to the proper folder category. The one thing you do want to avoid is just putting everything that interests you in the search folder. You can put all of that information in different folders NOT in the search folder that are created for that purpose of research. I have explained how to do this in previous articles. You would not for instance put every thing about reading in hear but in the search folder under books you could have sites about authors specifically and then specific authors whom like reading. This is a good place to look and see what is coming up with out signing up for yet another newsletter. Now armed with this information go out and find something.