Monday, January 23, 2012

How I find things

So last week a friend of mine asked "How do you find so many random things on the internet?" and I asked her "How do you not?".

Here are some of the ways I find things on the internet:
  • Subscribe to email updates and newsletters for companies or organizations that I like.
  • Bookmark sites that have useful resources, and scan them for new information when I have nothing else to do.
  • Network (ie, don't just like but actively participate) with interesting websites, artists, companies, and people and really pay attention to what they have to say.
  • Listen to the radio. It seems like everything I hear on the radio is followed by a website. So whether I'm rocking out in my car to X96 on my way to work or chilling to NPR on my way home, I'm mentally cataloging what I hear and I check it out in my leisure time.
  • Stumbleupon...embrace it.
  • All my facebook friends. In the grand scheme of things I have a fairly limited field of facebook friends, less than 100. But I don't limit their feeds, I subscribe to everything they want to post and they never disappoint.
  • Wikipedia addiction. So say I want to find out more about Henry VIII, which leads me through pages about the British royals, which leads me to a page about fox hunting, which takes me to a page about the band Fleet Foxes, which takes me to a page about the band First Aid Kit. Does king Henry VIII have anything to do with the band First Aid Kit? No, but I've learned wiki tangents can take you to some pretty amazing places if you'll just go with the flow.
  • Having no life.
So here's an example of how I got to a cool site recently:
I was reading on Pioneer Woman
...which of course led me to Tasty Kitchen
...then I browsed the newly uploaded recipes to see if there was anything I wanted to make for dinner and I found this recipe that piqued my interest
...then I clicked on the blog link at the top of the recipe and that took me here
...which then got me interested in this site

And now I want one of these...

and one of these...

and one of these...

and one of these...

Ok this could take all night, I'll just say that I want one of everything on that site.

The point is, there are millions of interesting and cool things to be found on the internet, all you need is curiosity and a computer with an internet connect to get started. I may not be able to scuba dive to discover ship wrecks, or ski across Antarctica by myself, or ride a marwari stallion in Rajasthan, or see my favorite bands live in concert. But I can do the next best thing and read about all this stuff, see photos, watch videos, and listen to the music almost the second that they happen, all I have to do is search.

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