The internet is a huge resource for people looking for information. Search engines help us to find relevant articles or websites if we need information. Wikipedia, the internet’s free online encyclopedia is one of the most well known and common places to turn. However these sites often can’t help us if you query is specific. Wikipedia is a fantastic resource, but the information contained there should always be treated with a pinch of salt. The user–edited page entries have been known to contain information that is not 100% true.
For unique and complex issues or questions, these options may not be good enough. There may be too much generic information or just nothing to be found at all. Specific forums help to fill a gap here. For advice or help on certain topic, it may be advisable to turn to a dedicated forum, this can be helpful if your computer gets a virus, or you want advice on what type of oil to use on your bicycle chain. However, forums (especially technical ones) can be difficult to navigate. There is often a requirement to sign up, and a certain amount of technical knowledge is sometimes needed. It can be quite daunting to post your first forum question, especially if you inadvertently break one of the ‘house’ rules.
One often over looked method of getting information is question and answer sites. These sites tend to be far more user friendly than forums. The general premise is that somewhere out there, there will be someone who knows the answer to your question. The aim of the site is to provide a platform where people with questions can seek out people with relevant answers. The great thing about these types of sites is that the questions are not limited to specific areas or general information. Questions such as, “What is the meaning of life”? or “what is my favorite color, are just as likely to receive answers as more general questions.
The internet is a great place to find information. It can be quite difficult to know where to look, but if a question or topic can be put into one of the general categories above, it should make searching for that illusive answer a little easier.