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What Crap?

Fellow readers, to be quite honest, I am frustrated and have no idea why Rheingold bothered to write a chapter on crap detection in “Net Smart.” Thus, the purpose for this blog; I want to put your mind at ease as you conduct your searches. It is not rocket science to figure out how to find what you need to know online. Do not fear the results of your searches online. There is absolutely no need to panic because this is an easy task. You should feel confident in your searches. Although Google is a prominent search engine that many use, there really is no need to consider which to use. Again, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to use Google or not. They are pretty much all the same. It’s a misconception that some search engines index and archive your previous searches, thus filtering your recent ones. This is not true at all. Sure, you’ll get different results but that’s simply showing you that there are a variety of articles and information to choose from; and if you’re unsure as to which to choose from, then simply search on that until you’re satisfied and find what you need.

Don’t be afraid to use Wikipedia, this is absolutely a reliable source. If you’re worry about bias, then you can use Hardwhois to find out who owns the site if it makes you feel better. However, please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a credibility meter in this online world. Yes, this means that even with sites ending with .gov, .edu, .org, this doesn’t mean that it carries more scientific or scholarly material/weight than say wordpress.com. They are explicitly categorical labels. I will even go on to add that your first search page would likely yield the best results as to what your probably searching for; this is called PageRank. So, don’t waste your time clicking onto page 2 or beyond! As with anything, it just takes some practice. Follow these guidelines and I assure you that you’re bound not to fail. Happy Searching!

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7 thoughts on “What Crap?

    1. Thanks, I was cracking up writing it myself. I told my boyfriend that I would cry if someone didn’t get it. I happened to have gotten up REALLY early on Friday and was elated when I saw your comment. I immediately took a picture on my phone and texted it to him. 🙂

      This satirical blog was stemmed from reading quite a few of others reiterating what was actually read and learned from Megan’s visit. So, it inspired me to write something else fun to write and hopefully read. You totally made my Friday morning; thanks for commenting!

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  1. Wow, this was quick and to the point. I always have trouble finding something I really want to find unless I have the right key words. However, how do I know what the key words are? I have found out that even sometimes people blogs make more sense than some articles. For instance, if you are looking up something for a medical reason and you find people’s experience, blogs, and opinions on it it can give you a lot of information on the topic! I have found blogs to be useful. As for different search engines, I tend to look on google, but I need to branch out more. I know you said it didn’t matter what search engine you used though. What are you suggestions for finding exactly what you need?

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    1. I hope you realized that this blog was more on the sarcastic side. So, I really am not sure if whether using Google or another certain engine would be more appropriate. It definitely won’t hurt to use different search engines as we learned in class that they yield different results.

      As for answering your questions for finding what I need, there isn’t a simple answer for me. I do a lot of what has been discussed. Try different search words, using other similar key words, even the mere rewording the order makes a difference, and use databases and Google scholar. Oh, I also frequently look through beyond the first page of search results (I have found this helpful….in thinking about something else relevant or searching for something else that might not occurred to me) What I end up finding is that even if I don’t find exactly what I need the first time, I will inevitably find something that keeps me in the loop of searching about that, getting me closer to content that I need.

      By the way, I am with you on reading some less academic, formal content as an easier means to understand a topic (such as medical, politics, or theories).

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  2. I really like your statement: “even with sites ending with .gov, .edu, .org, this doesn’t mean that it carries more scientific or scholarly material/weight than say wordpress.com.”

    I think Crap Detection is important. Not everyone understands the creditability of a site and too many are blindly trusting to whatever a search result gives them. This brings me back to your statement. Crap detection is important because even a source coming from credible site won’t necessarily provide an accurate answer. I like to keep in mind the idea of detecting reliable information when using the internet because the of the idea that knowledge is not searchable, it is something that must be acquired. People shouldn’t be scared, just mindful, like you stated: “if you’re unsure as to which to choose from, then simply search on that until you’re satisfied and find what you need.”

    Excellent post!

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    1. Staycee, your response was very fascinating to me. You made me THINK about what I actually wrote out of sheer joke (it was meant to be a satirical blog). I thought it was quite interesting that you found “truth” where you quoted me, where I actually thought quite oppositely. However, you said it best, “…even a source coming from credible site won’t necessarily provide an accurate answer. I like to keep in mind the idea of detecting reliable information when using the internet because the of the idea that knowledge is not searchable, it is something that must be acquired.” What a quality reply!Thank for your thoughtful comment.

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