3. Sept. 2016

posted Sep 27, 2016, 6:35 PM by Frank Steele

September 27, 2016

What happened to August? For that matter, where’d September go? Time flies. Or as the saying goes: Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. ... Some things I’ve been meaning to post:


Investigative Dashboard
This is a site I hadn’t heard of before: an excellent research portal for investigators, intelligence professionals, investigative journalists, and fact-checkers. When I searched the documents and databases, I found the names of some people I’d worked for some decades ago, which was interesting. And the list (and links) of recommended global databases is excellent. I’m looking forward to an excuse to use this in depth.


Speaking of investigative sites, Wonder is a good one, judging by the quality of the answers I’ve seen on their site and their list of clients. The process is simple: You pose a question, pay $40, and the researchers at Wonder will research it and provide the answers you’re looking for.

I was impressed by the quality of the sample answers. If you go here and press “View example requests,” you can see several examples with analysis, insights, and links provided. They’re detailed, informative answers that go beyond the original questions. The researchers obviously studied the questions (which weren’t always very detailed, judging by the examples) and tried to figure out the intent of the questioner, and they included supplementary information to answer that too, when possible.

For example, in the question about the sports player population in San Francisco and Los Angeles, they defined it as anyone engaging in some form of physical activity, listed two reports or surveys that had slightly different results and the differences between them, and at the end they provided categories of sports and the estimated participation in each in each of the cities.

I thought these were good examples of research and analysis, and if you study the examples, you can see how they gathered the information and wove it together very nicely. They also analyzed the questions carefully, which is vital in researching anything. Whenever I forget that, fact-checking and research always takes longer.


Google Search Shortcuts
The good folks at Webopedia provided an updated list of Google Search Shortcuts a while back, and there were a few there I wasn’t familiar with or had forgotten. I use the “weather” search term every day before I go out for exercise, because I like the graphic display. The “book” search looks useful too, among others. And “define” is something I use constantly.

More to come in October, I hope.