General Question

davidb's avatar

What do you do when you want to know something?

Asked by davidb (74points) October 26th, 2009

I’m curious to know what do you when you want to know something? Do you ask friends? Google it? etc? What problems do you encourter to the current solutions in trying to answer a question or find out about something you want to know about?

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24 Answers

jackm's avatar

Google is my best friend

MissAnthrope's avatar

I Google it. If a friend is handy that might know, and Google isn’t, I ask a friend. I don’t usually encounter problems.. I practice Google-fu.

Edit: and Fluther, of course.

Likeradar's avatar

Depends on what I want to know.
Anything computer related, I ask the boy. I guess I google most things though.

Or ask Fluther. :)

Facade's avatar

Google. I don’t think people I know could tell me what the best shea butter should look, feel, and smell like :)

augustlan's avatar

Husband or knowledgeable friend, if handy. If it’s something simple and fact-based, Google. If I want to learn a lot about something, I’ll read a book (or books) on the subject, or take a class. For everything else, Fluther.

SpatzieLover's avatar

*Amazon for ratings/review
*CNN/Yahoo for quick bits of news
*eBay for going rates on various products
*Husband for IT stuff or electronic help
*Internet search for tidbits or clarifications
*Doctor for medical advice
*Fluther for the rest

DominicX's avatar

Search it on Wikipedia.

However, if I feel like a friend might know it, then I’ll ask them, but Wikipedia is usually a good resource. The only problem is that Wikipedia can be confusing when it comes to more confusing topics.

Aethelwine's avatar

In order:

1. Husband
2. Dictionary
3. Fluther

MacBean's avatar

I don’t have questions. I know everything.~

I google.

shego's avatar

If I know somebody who knows, I ask them, if not, then I do my own research. If I still can’t figure it out, I write it down, give it some time and then I look it up again. If I still can’t find it, or understand it, I ask here.

nxknxk's avatar

All about Wikipedia. If that’s insufficient then the library isn’t too far down the road. There’s also JSTOR, etc. Everyone loves JSTOR!

Jeruba's avatar

Depends entirely on the subject matter and how big the answer is likely to be. I am inclined to try Google first, but if it’s in a family member’s or friend’s area of expertise, I will ask them.

I also consult one or more dictionaries and a quantity of other references that I have on hand, from the World Almanac to the Chicago Manual of Style—again, depending on what it is.

Links on my desktop include,, and Wikipedia, which is good for some things and is often a pointer to other sources. For movies, I go to IMDb; for names, to the SSA database. And so on.

If I need to consult experts outside my circle, I go to Fluther. For serious research, I think Uclue is tops, with its stable of former Google Answers researchers.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Google was made for people like me so that when we can’t sleep, we have something to do. Wait, that’s also Fluther.

YARNLADY's avatar

Internet Search

knitfroggy's avatar

It depends on what I want to know. If I want to know how make the dressing for Cole Slaw, I call my grandma. If I want to know what year Jim Morrison died, Google. And if I have to know something and I’m not near my computer, I text Chacha and hope they can help me!

gailcalled's avatar

Last night I googled “Fractals,” “the night sky this week,” “elementary Hungarian grammar,” and a book review on Amazon of “The Year of Wonders,” by Geraldine Brooks.

I called my local server for odd Internet connect (unplugging an replugging the DSL modem solved the problem) and checked out my paternal family’s history for a flutherer who found me. My grandfather and his great-grandmother were sibs.

Milo sent an ecard to my niece who turned 40, and I paid my MC bill online.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Google is one of my favorite things on the planet.. so incredibly useful. You can get language translation, currency exchange, a calculator, medical info, maps, directions, pictures, scholarly journals/publications, books, compare prices when shopping… all within itself.

Jeruba's avatar

What’s your answer, @davidb? Great question (GQ), by the way. It might seem obvious, but I have not seen it asked here before. Welcome to fluther.

I didn’t answer the part of your question that asks about problems, but I’d say there are three with Internet research:

1. Being able to come up with the search terms that will help you zero in on your answer. Skilled researchers are very good at this, but all of us can get better with practice. The advanced options can help narrow results.

2. Being able to evaluate the quality of information and know what you can rely on. Here’s some great advice on that score. (The question buildup is long; skip to the last paragraph. Researcher ‘pinkfreud’ was Google Answers’s all-time star. She and many of her former colleagues now answer questions on Uclue, cited above.)

3. Finding information that is not available or readily findable online. Some things just aren’t and never will be. You may need (a) a book or periodical, (b) a real person, or ( c) field research.

janbb's avatar

Husband, brother-in-law, son for IT stuff
Library databases and collection for literature and criticism, history,etc.
1983 World Book for out-of-date geographical info
Google for tid-bits
WebMd for medical advice

janbb's avatar

oh, and pdworkin for just about anything else. :-)

Spiney's avatar

I almost always Google it. I also check with friends, users groups, and before the net my favorite library was my local Borders or The Library. I can generally find an answer to most things online in under 5 minutes. If it is a more specific questions such as the answer to a computer problem, Photography, or how to fix a car issue I use a users group or forum and generally have an answer in anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours.

dpworkin's avatar

fine, @janbb, but whom may I ask?

janbb's avatar

You may ask me, of course. I’ve got all the answers hardwired into my brain.

gailcalled's avatar

MIlo here: And there’s me as the ultimate back-up.

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