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Help Starting Research

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  • Help Starting Research

    The internets are full of useful geniuses, but sometimes I have trouble finding them.

    When I get a thought of something like, How do I ..., or What is a cool ..., a simple Google query usually works.

    Where do you turn when Google fails you? I realize this is to some degree just Internet wisdom, but I'm not satisfied that my search refinements are optimal.

    I'm looking for a picturesque, remote-yet-accessible campsite near water within a couple hours of Dallas. A camping forum? A Dallas outdoors forum? Google earth?

    This general post was brought about by this specific question. I look forward to the sage advice of this GTD audience.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Well, you could call your local library's reference desk. They are probably lonely and would love to talk with you. For travel-related questions, large bookstores can be a good resource, too.

    Of course, if you're like me you probably have your best ideas at odd hours when *only* the Internet is open.

    First, I try rephrasing the question a couple of times. Often, people who know the subject use slightly different terminology: "birding" instead of "birdwatching," or "cycling" instead of "biking." (The latter term will probably get you motorcycle riders.)

    If that doesn't work, I ask myself what group of people would know the answer, and look for that group. "Dallas canoeing clubs," maybe, or "Texas back country hiking" or, as you suggested, camping forums. You might also try putting "search engine" after whatever your search term is.

    If I'm still coming up empty, I'll do a sanity check to make sure what I'm looking for is at least plausible. A more organized person might do that first, before wasting an afternoon searching for, say, quiet forest lakes in Death Valley.

    By the time I've exhausted those avenues, I've usually either found the answer or spent so much time that it's time to move onto something else anyway.

    Hope this helps,

    Katherine

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    • #3
      To piggyback on kewms' suggestion to check bookstores and libraries, may I suggest calling the fine folks at REI. There is a store in Dallas (http://www.rei.com/stores/45).
      Last edited by jknecht; 05-15-2008, 10:30 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by applecore View Post
        Where do you turn when Google fails you? I realize this is to some degree just Internet wisdom, but I'm not satisfied that my search refinements are optimal.
        I ask my personal assistant in India. He works for $15/hour, only when I ask him to. See http://www.getfriday.com/ for more information.

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        • #5
          I ask my personal assistant in India. He works for $15/hour, only when I ask him to. See http://www.getfriday.com/ for more information.
          And your personal assistant, disguised under the name of 'applecore' decides to ask this on the GTD forums where you answer the question, billing you $15

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mephisto View Post
            And your personal assistant, disguised under the name of 'applecore' decides to ask this on the GTD forums where you answer the question, billing you $15
            I never thought I would post something like this on this specific forum, but I do :
            haha, lol

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            • #7
              I rarely give up on Google. My search string would be:

              campground water Dallas Texas

              Here's my hit list: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...r+Dallas+Texas

              If I didn't find something in the first 3-4 pages, I would probably try contacting sporting goods stores in the area -- or any Chamber of Commerce office in the area.

              You can also search on Texas tourism -- several good possibilities to give you the information you want.

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              • #8
                When Google fails to find me what I want, I turn to Ask.com. The context-based search engine is pretty powerful and sometimes helps me to locate what Google does not. I thought I'd throw that out there since nobody has yet.

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