For anyone not utilizing the Internet for information gathering, shame on you! There is literally a world of information, data, facts, figures, and answers as close as a click. One of the most recent additions to our sources has been podcasts. Who would have known there’s so many folks using them as a means to market a book, a company, a website, a service, but also as a means of labeling themselves as an expert in some field.
It’s only fair to say that some of the podcasters were truly household names already and have just jumped on the bandwagon, while others are small, independent entrepreneurs who want to present themselves out to be the base of knowledge on a subject.
Podcasts are just one of many options, and like your public library, the internet has tons of ways to find information on every subject. There are articles, wikis, dictionaries, abouts, databases, news sources, press release sources, tutorials, forums, blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds … the list goes on. The amount of information available on the web is astounding and unprecedented.
As with most things, what seems too good to be true usually is. And the information superhighway is no exception. When you’re searching for information on a topic say in a Google search, you’ll find thousands, perhaps millions of websites pertaining to the subject. Some of those results are irrelevant, but most will offer some type of information pertaining to the topic you’re looking for. The catch is to utilize information from a reputable source. If the source cannot be validated, at least validate the information by checking with a few sources and comparing the data. Read through or listen to the data and determine if it sounds plausible or just ridiculous. Try this… do a Google search on your source to see if there are forum posts or reviews of the information provider you’re considering citing or using for advice. With so many options and because it’s so easy to create a blog, or comment in a forum, almost anyone can do it – qualified or not. The last thing you want to do is write a report, presentation, or your own website content, citing a bad source. Nothing can make you look bad faster in a meeting with you boss, teacher, or prospect.
Bottom line, use the Internet for its most dynamic and important impact – information dissemination, but be cautious of your sources. Who knows, sometime soon you may be downloading an Inspired 2 Design podcast showcasing advertising and marketing facts, figures and advice!