2. July 2016

posted Jul 13, 2016, 10:43 AM by Frank Steele   [ updated Jul 27, 2016, 12:32 PM ]

July 13, 2016

An Information Trap

Tara Calishain at ResearchBuzz is starting a great instructional series on information traps: “monitors placed on the Web in general or on a specific Web site or network to grab new or updated information.” Part 1 is “Starting from Scratch,” and it has detailed instructions on how to learn about a new topic and keep up to date on it through Google Alerts. (Her subject is drones, in case you’re an enthusiast.)

I love examples, as that’s how I learn best, and this first article is full of them. Setting up the Google Alerts involves several Google searches to determine the best terms to search for. She also uses Google Trends, which is something I’d never considered. I learned a lot, and I’m looking forward to putting some of this to use.

July 21, 2016

How to get started in online investigations with open-source intelligence

An article from FirstDraft News:

Myself and others at First Draft frequently receive emails from a whole range of people asking how they can start doing the sort of online open-source investigation and verification that they’ve seen us doing. The skills and methodologies used are all something that can be learnt through a little persistence, but here are a few pieces of advice to get you started.

The advice majors on social media and geolocation: using clues in photographs or videos to find the precise location it was captured, therefore verifying it is in the location claimed by the person sharing it (or finding the location if none is given in the first place). I’d been hoping for more text-related advice, but I haven’t checked out all the links yet, so maybe I’ll find it there.

July 27, 2016

An Information Trap, Part 2

ResearchBuzz continues its series on information traps: “monitors placed on the Web in general or on a specific Web site or network to grab new or updated information.”

Setting Up and Sharing Google Alerts

In part I, Anatomy of an Information Trap, Part I: Starting From Scratch, I walked through the process of gathering data on a topic I knew very little about (drones) until I had seven solid candidates for Google Alerts. In part II, I’m going to be going through the process of creating Google Alerts for these topics, as well as showing you how to share the fruits of your findings without blowing up someone’s e-mail or just tossing everything in a text file.

Getting the Facts Right
Writing at “An American Editor” blog, Daniel Sosnoski has a post that talks about checking the accuracy of quotes, double-checking math, avoiding anachronisms, and looking things up when you wonder “Is this really so?” Good examples, and reading through them sharpens your sense of what to look for.

Oversight Garden
Courtesy of ResearchBuzz: Oversight Garden. “The US government has many dozens of offices dedicated to keeping the government honest and efficient through strong, independent oversight. They produce a lot of good work, but the results are scattered all over the internet. Sometimes they get the attention they deserve, and many times they don't. It would be a shame for good oversight to go overlooked. We gather the work of the US government oversight community in one place so you can freely search and subscribe to it.” There are around 50,000 documents on the site.