This list will be a work in progress. Keep in mind that I am still in the process of thinking through what kinds of strategies that I may have used over the years so sometimes I don’t even know if it is a strategy or not.
Trick 1: Google-Fu
It’s true. Google is a vastly underused tool. Most folks don’t realize just what they are missing when it comes to internet research. I can learn nearly anything that I might want to learn, and if I can’t find it I can find out who knows.
Your key to everything you want to know for any reason.
Define you subject by learning to google precisely. This way you can zero in on hits fast, and spend ridiculously small amounts of time researching. This is a huge life saver when doing research. They used to teach this in High School and I am pretty sure that I have seen them teaching it even here in Texas. At least look at Boolean operators. You already use then, now search with them.
Boolean Search: Make Your Searches Smarter
Pictures for the TL;DR crowd (Get off my lawn…)
Hardcore tech manual on Google PDF
Ones I use a lot include,
*Parentheses “” to lock in specific terms like “Capitalism philosophy” or “______ is evil!”. Those terms must look just like what is in the parentheses.
*The term “and”. When you put it between two words, those words must both be in the result, but can be anywhere in the page.
Example (Note parentheses will be used in a google specific way only when stated)
1. Convert statement into unbiased, technical statement or question.
Original statement copied and pasted from comment.
“If money gives you a better opportunity for happiness then why do rich people always seek more riches?”
2. Rewrite. (Not identical to below because I am just using my methods again) Emphasize researchable chacteristics that address the authors feelings and intentions accurately. Include general picture questions to ensure that the entire picture is realistic.
“Do wealthy humans continue to seek wealth as a matter of instinct? Is it fair to describe human wealth in terms that imply biological problems that may need social consideration? Is wealth accumulation associated with human happiness?”
3. Break into subjects, order logically, be technical.
Take the first sentence as an example.
“Do wealthy humans continue to seek wealth as a matter of instinct?”
wealthy humans instinct wealth seeking
Requires multiple passes of the subjects. For each just use the subjects in different forms depending on what you are looking for.
Google pass one (brackets indicate google box).
Looking for technical, informative, dry results for academic, or casual but mixed with jargon for professional blogs. I also try Google Scholar here in parallel.
Just for fun let’s just do a question.
Note: This was done on 3/10/2012. Results may be different.
[wealthy humans instinct wealth seeking]
Write into questions, and add terms for the academic disciplines, and technical categories to “spike” your search results toward the serious, least biased results you want.
[Do humans continue to seek wealth by instinct psychology sociobiology?]
Google result one.
A list of general information possibilities that can lead you to articles that discuss the information you want, and will have citations that can back you up.
*Evolutionary psychology hits. A controversial but legitimate scientific discipline. Wikipedia gets you links to real academic resources you can investigate. Academic departments. Lecture class notes. Individual papers. All the tools you need to understand this information with a few more tweaks of the terms.
Eventually [humans continue seek wealth instinct psychology economics] got me the hits I was most interested in. I,
*removed common items (I, Do, to, by, ?)
*Logically ordered subjects as concepts
*spiked with psychology and economics to get me the relevant search bias
Google pass two
I apply another trick where I replace technical words with common equivalents to get news articles. These are public impressions, and areas where experts talk to the media.
people seek money riches wealth instinct psychology economy
This gets you some very interesting things. Happiness Wikipedia entry. Interesting news items (I got something about wealth managers wanting to have psychology skills. Frightening, and interesting.). Political science descriptions. A dash of crazy.
Just keep adjusting words until you get the information you are looking for. Less specific to get more hits, more specific to target. Things like,
*Blogs of professionals (These people, like all people like to talk about themselves. Just like you. Just like me.)
*”How to” Websites by professionals
*Wikipedia and it’s equivalents for general information. (howstuffworks.com, etc…)
*Reviews and skeptical opinions