Importance of Doc Fu.
Written by Ben Friedman, August 8th, 2016
Doc Fu, how good is yours?
When researching new material it's critical that you be able to quickly find the information that you're looking for. Whether you're looking for specs on that new router you just bought, or how to setup DNS for you newly puchased web domain! We give some quick insights into how you can quickly get to the root of your problems and save yourself some time and money!
When looking up information we almost always start in the same place, a search engine. When searching it's important to assist your search engine of choice in bringing relevant results. This usually means picking your keywords, carefully. If you wanted to look for a way to forward a port on your router, you might look up how to port forward, or forward port on router. Although you could further clarify that it is 'my' router, this is largely irrelevant to a search engine. You're looking for a guide, so every word counts and sentence structure is not as important as you would think.
Likewise once you've found your resources every site counts as well, and some more than others. Finding info on wikipedia is not necessarily a solid reference, as it can be modified by just about anyone. However additional sites corroborating that same information helps to reasure that what you are reading is legitimate. More than anything if you ever use wikipedia, use it as a quick summation, and not necessarily an accurate one at that. You can often times enhance your existing search by pulling out specific keywords mentioned in a wiki page to find what you're looking for elsewhere.
Finding the original source can be a huge asset. Although you may find hundreds of references about your port forwarding issue, you may note that they all reference the same document, the router manual. Almost always a key source document, issued by the publisher, manufacturer or developer is available online. Looking them up and then looking for their reference sheets or manuals often gives you information from the authority. Nothing beats drinking water from the source!
If such authoritarian documents are not online or can't be found you may need to trust insights provided by others. The original documents are almost always your best bet, but this is the next best approach. However be careful, it doesn't help to simply blindly follow instructions and not understand what you are doing. Taking a moment to find additional sources and understand what it is you are about to change can better guide you in the right direction, especially if you run into something that isn't accounted for.
Ultimately, if you are stuck, try a different search engine. This may seem like an odd one, but trying Google vs. Bing will bring up vastly differing search results at times. This inherit biasing based on the search engine you use can help turn up information you wouldn't otherwise find. This can be used to help reassure that an existing bit of info you found is legitimate, or to find information that has managed to elude you completely.
With the wealth of information that's currently available on the web it's hard not to find what you're looking for, give or take. If you put the time into it others may start to wonder how it is you just know everything. Who knows, somebody may even pay you for your expertise some day?
Questions? Corrections? Concerns? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org