3. Net-Smarts -- or becoming Netwise
You know my method. It is founded upon
the observation of trifles.
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
Net-smarts is perhaps your most valuable
tool in finding information on the Internet. It is not a web page, program, or index, but
a growing awareness, on your part, of what is available on the Internet and how it works,
and a growing sense of "where is the best first place to start?" As mentioned
earlier, searching the Internet involves investigating an information environment, turning
over stones, checking for fingerprints, examining strands of hair. It means having an idea
of what your are looking for, and at the same time being open for the unexpected.
More than anything, being net-smart
involves asking questions. Here are some questions that must be asked and considered when
embarking on an information safari on the Internet.
- What do you want to find?
Are you looking for articles, company web pages, software, conferences, discussion groups,
or people? The answer to this question helps you decide on a search strategy.
- Why would someone publish this information
on the Internet?
- Who would publish this information on the
- Who would host this information on the
- What would a web page with the Information
I seek look like?
Questions two through five would each help us in developing our search phrase.
- Are you wanting to broaden your knowledge
of a general topic or do you want more narrow, specific information?
Broad or general information is usually best found in topic-oriented directories.
Information on more specific topics is best found with search engines.