Monday, September 3, 2012

Google my way through life

Who was in that movie?
How far away is New York?
When does the concert start?
Where is a good restaurant in that area?

I have questions such as these all the time. If I can’t find the answers in the deep recesses of my mind, I can use a search engine such as Google on my laptop or handy iPhone.  Within moments, I have the answers to all of my questions. Most of them, anyway.  When someone tells you to “look it up,” a search engine on the Internet is the first place you may go. No longer is the set of encyclopedias or paper-based dictionary the go-to place for answers.

For sites I frequent, bookmarking is my preferred way of returning easily to the site. Pinterest has gained in popularity, replacing a boring bookmark with a splashy graphic on its website board. I’m personally not a fan of Pinterest since it seems to dilute the creative juices by making it entirely too easy to repin someone else’s interests, replacing the already semi-easy search. Along the same idea, Facebook has made it easy to share someone else’s post, link, photo, or video with some of these going viral without thought to its place of origin or credibility.

Items are searched, re-posted, and re-pinned all the time. But is it re-search? What does it mean to research, and how is it different than searching? Are we searching again for the answer? Is it for the same answer or do we expect a different one?

This blog will explore what it means to be an emerging researcher. I am now the engine to search the answers, or to perhaps ask new ones to which there may be no answers.  My tools will be my trusty Macbook, the PSU library, my own personal library, the Zotero Research Bibliography, and my ever-present iPhone will help in a pinch. And Google, of course, will continue to be my helping hand. 

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