Use The Internet
For Education And Research
Written and Copyright 2001 by Joe Bingham,
Editor of the NetPlay Newsletters
The Internet is loaded with information.
Information is literally the reason for its existence. Therefore, it is completely possible for anyone to find the education they are looking for on virtually any topic.
However, sometimes the Internet can seem so big that it's hard to locate what you want. The first thing to do then, is to narrow your search. Make a list of what you already know about the subject you are interested in. Make another list of what else you want to know.
If the sum knowledge you already possess of your subject is the title: TREES OF Missouri you still have a beginning point for your first list. Now, start on your other list, what do you know you want to know? Fill your questions out in depth. #1: Does Missouri have trees? #2: What does Missouri use trees for? #3: What volume of trees does Missouri use? #4: What species of trees does Missouri produce commercially? #5: What type of soil does Missouri have that sustains each of these species? #6: Does Missouri have any national forests? #7: How many varieties of fruit trees does Missouri have? etc. The more depth you give to your questions the greater depth of information you will uncover.
This is not my favorite tool, but often this is the obvious place to start. Take your questions one at a time and enter them into the search engines search box. Use the answers you get to isolate general topics in the field you want to study. Evaluate the best web sites you visit which are related to the subject (of trees in Missouri, for example). Study each site in detail, and then work forward from there using the links furnished there. Be sure to have pen and paper handy because invariably you will discover tantalizing subtopics which will increase your knowledge. The more you study, the more you will find to study.
There's an ezine somewhere with information on every subject you are interested in. Plus, unlike web sites that often stay the same for months, ezines contain new information in each issue and will refer you to relevant sites and even other related ezines. If you subscribe to several ezines covering the same topic, you'll get a range of opinions and views that can help you develop your own ideas over time.
It's ok to subscribe to quite a few ezines and let them compete. Determine the ones that continually bring you the information and insights you want and stay with them. Root out a few of the best on your chosen topic and let the rest go.
After you read an ezine, and you like the information presented, visit the ezine's web site and look at their archived issues as well. This can be a quick way to surmise what kind of information and interests the ezine will cover.
A great place to start your search for the best ezines covering your subject is an ezine directory. My favorite is the Ezine Locator run by Jeff Wilson. It is found at http://www.ezinelocater.com I have found it consistently easier to navigate and it makes better sense than many others. There you can search by category and read brief descriptions of the information and resources each of the ezines contains.
Another worthwhile endeavor is to go visiting the sites of the people who actually author the articles that you enjoy. Some ezines run original articles, but many just pick up articles from freelance writers. Most articles contain a resource box at the end identifying the author and providing a link to his or her site. The information there will help you to determine the actual author of good articles and go see what their site has to offer -- or watch for more of their works.
You can read articles and sites all you want, and you can learn a great deal. However, sometimes you just plain need personal contact from someone who can answer your specific questions.
Talk DIRECTLY with EXPERTS!
Not everyone on the Internet is easily approachable, but those in the business of selling information are usually happy to make personal contact. When you do write to someone with questions there are certain steps you can take that will increase your odds of getting a response.
1. Call them by name. 2. Name the article or site where you read their words. 3. Be courteous. 4. Be specific.
Addressing people by name tells them you know who they are and that you are not just sending out bulk emails to anyone who would respond. Letting them know where you heard of them gives you more credibility as well. Being polite is, of course, expected by anyone, and being specific will get you better answers. Asking general questions that require volumes to answer will not get results. This is the Internet where working marketers can literally get hundreds of emails every day. If you show specific interest, you'll be more likely to get a legitimate response.
You can try contacting anyone you respect that offers an email address, but you won't always get a response depending on the person, how busy they are, and their way of doing business.
CHOOSING A MENTOR
I define a mentor simply as someone willing to work along with you by answering questions or relating their own experience while you make your way through a learning process. Mentors deserve your respect, and they deserve to be paid back in some way for what they do for you.
At times, you may find one or two people that you can form a good relationship with and contact repeatedly. If you are willing to give something back in that relationship, whether it be your own knowledge in a different area, other items of value, money, or at least friendship, you can end up with a mentor. You can have several mentors, and often the relationship can be profitable for you both.
However, there's no one that knows everything. You still need to think things through for yourself, seek other opinions, and relate others experience and knowledge to your own goals and obstacles.
You can learn from any or all of these resources. However, it's how you start to put your new knowledge into action that counts.
Visit the author's site to study the next article in this series.
Written by Joe Bingham, Editor of the NetPlay Newsletters. Publish Your Own Quality Ezine with Little Work and a Lot of Help. Complete information yours for free at http://www.netplaynewsletters.com/publisher.html where you can: Earn Revenue, Increase YOUR Credibility, Expand YOUR Online Presence, Initiate and Maintain Contacts, Promote YOUR Business, Attract Business Offers, and Make Commissions on top of all that.