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Where Do You Go For Your Blog Research and References?

Blog Resources by Lorelle on WordPressI needed to know the dimensions of a US quarter compared to the Euro coins. Where should I go?

Hmm, maybe I’ll hop in the car and drive to the library to dig through the shelves for coin collecting books. Nah.

Maybe I’ll drive over to that coin and stamp collecting shop I saw over in the next town. Nah.

Maybe I’ll call a friend who collects coins and ask them to give me the comparative measurements – which I need in both inches and metric. Nah.

I could dig through my international coin collection – which isn’t really a collection, just the bag we throw all of our “traveling” money into so we can use it again on our next trip. I could find the coins and measure them myself to get the comparative measurements.

Nah.

It’s all too much work. But I need the information. So where do I go?

Where does any blogger go when they need information?

Oh, I know. Duh!

photograph of coins and bills copyright by Lorelle VanFossen - no use without permissionThe Internet now houses vast vats of knowledge and information, especially statistical information, just waiting for us to dig in and search. We don’t have to drive, bother friends, or dig through dirty coins to get the answers we need. We just type them into our favorite search engine and off we go on an adventure into blog research.

Search engines are great resources for finding information, but they don’t always help find the research I’m looking for without clicking and scrolling through a lot of search results. I need more. I need a repository of sites I return to over and over again through the years to find the information I need as I blog.

When I write about CSS and HTML, PHP, WordPress template tags, or other bits of code, I double check my information at the source. When I’m writing about copyrights, content theft, intellectual property, and blog scraping, I track down the rules, laws, and standards that help us protect our rights to our hard work. When I’m quoting a famous person, dead person, or making a point with a quote or saying, I better get it right, so I look it up. How do you spell “fallacy” and “development” – I’m a writer, I better get it write. How do I split my infinities anyway? Maybe I should look that up, too.

Over the years, I’ve collected a wide range of links I’ve saved as bookmarks to help me get to the specific information I need. Starting tomorrow, I’ll share these with you.

My web resource and reference lists are not complete by any means, and they serve my needs. Your research and reference list includes sites and blogs of value to you and your blog. I’m always on the lookout for new resources for fact checking and finding, and sites to help me blog better, so let me know if you have any favorites not on the list.

Oh, where did I find my coin answers? Wikipedia, of course. As the world’s free, editable, volunteer-supported online encyclopedia, it has grown to become one of the largest repositories of facts, figures, references, sources, definitions, quotes, biographies, and more. While some debate it’s consistent accuracy, it continues to house the best of the best online reference material.

I found the answers to my coin question on the Coins of the Pound Sterling and Euro Coins pages.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll share with you some of my blog resources. So what are the sites and blogs you rely upon to help you blog?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

6 Comments

  1. mkate
    Posted March 3, 2008 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I hesitate to rely too heavily on wikipedia. I try to find one or more sources to back up anything I find there. I use wikipedia as a place to find common knowledge or common thoughts. Instead, I try to go to the ‘source’ wherever possible. For American coins, I would go to the U.S. Mint and I might look for the equivalent for Europe. If you click the ‘discussion’ tab of wikipedia on a topic, you will find that there is often a lot of disagreement about what should/should not be included on that topic.

  2. Posted March 3, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    @ mkate:

    I agree. There is no one source, which is why I’m doing this series, offering various online sources for people to use – and I hope they do cross check.

    As for my issue with the coins, the measurements are usually debated, so I wasn’t too worried about getting them exactly right. :D Hotly contested issues, that’s when I really check it out.

  3. mkate
    Posted March 4, 2008 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    That’s true. Now that I have learned about the ‘discussion’ tab on Wikipedia, I will almost always click over there to see what people are saying. This gives me a better idea of the controversial aspects of a topic particularly when the history books tend to present things fairly one-dimensionally (I quickly skimmed the Thomas Jefferson page and saw a lot of interesting debate which would highlight the places I should be questioning or thinking about as well).

    As a curriculum writer who has often created units/topics about historical events, it is important to me that I am allowing students to see all sides to a situation and not just feeding them my particular viewpoint.

  4. Posted March 4, 2008 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Dear Lorelle,

    Hi! You could ask your local librarian! Many library web sites have a link where you can e-mail a question or chat online with a librarian 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! To find a library near you visit: Web Junction Public Library List.

    Thanks for all the great WordPress tips!

    Mary M. Buck, MLS
    Central Rappahannock Regional Library

  5. lunatic
    Posted September 1, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle.
    Wikipedia is not a good source of information compare to any Library since some information in the site are altered by human with bad intention.

    I am a coin collector since 1992, books and the coins itself can tell you a story that you didn’t know. For fast information in the net, I prefer asking from other collectors in forum or in a social media groups that related to my coins.

    just my 2 cents.

    • Posted September 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Actually, Wikipedia is an excellent source, though not the only one someone should use. The crowd-sourced methodology and quick updating makes it a valuable resource. As with everyone online, take it with a grain of salt and wisdom. I know of many library resources that are not only outdated but very wrong, written by the winners (and losers) and biased.

      For specialty topics such as coins, I doubt Wikipedia would be an adequate resource, though I encourage you to become an editor there and fix the articles on your subject and add more. Your information could add valuable information and resources to others.


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