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Researching content from existing websites
Is it pointless?
jmorgan




msg:3195178
 10:24 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

When doing research on a particular topic for writing an article, is it worthwhile trying to base your information from existing websites e.g. from wikipedia or authority websites for the topic?

It just seems like a pointless exercise in just re-hashing information that's already available on the web thereby lowering the overall value of your content/article.

 

basenotes




msg:3195591
 8:10 am on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't necessarily say it was pointless. It's good to use as a starter, so you know which areas you need to research. It is important to ensure that some of your research is either your first-hand research or research using off-line (newspapers, books, magazines).

I've been trying to research something on the net lately, and 90% of the sites are just rehashing the same facts. The others which have done the extra research are so so much more useful

gibbergibber




msg:3205584
 11:35 am on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Basenotes is right, the net is best seen as a starting point full of hints and tips rather than an actual authority on facts.

The best way to confirm something is true is to go as close to the original source as possible, which may be offline or online. Just go as close as you can to the origin of a story.

BigDave




msg:3206126
 8:07 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yup, the web is a great starting point. Then see what sort of journal databases you can access through your local library. Speaking of library, head down and check out the dead-tree information sources.

farmboy




msg:3221435
 9:06 pm on Jan 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

from wikipedia or authority websites for the topic?

Putting the word "or" between "wikipedia" and "authority websites" was a good move.

FarmBoy

wilderness




msg:3228311
 2:37 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a reference phrase that cannot be found any other place on the WWW, however it appeared on a wikipedia after my webpage went online ;)

"anybody" may change/edit most wikipedia pages at any time.
Should they chose, even injecting false materials.
Unless the person returns that created the text at wikipedia an updates, the incorrect material gets spidered and indexed.

HarleyGuy




msg:3228364
 4:30 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

We all see things differently, and we all describe things differently.

There is rehashing and then there is my interpretation of what I read elsewhere.

The two are not the same.

martinship




msg:3228379
 5:35 am on Jan 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I often use the web for background research when starting to write a story; it's a good way to make sure you don't overlook an important part of the topic. In your case, it might show you a content hole: information about the topic not available on the web.

If you're putting your article online, you might even want to link to some of the better related articles.

johnb789




msg:3243996
 11:04 am on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is nothing new in this world. Everything is already there & available. But the point is how we are going to present that content in a new way. There is nothing wrong in base our content from some other source, but the uniqueness we are going give to that content is more important.

Beagle




msg:3244584
 9:39 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

What can be completely new, IMHO, is finding a relationship between two pieces of content. Say a site for manufacturers and a site for investors (or maybe a site for manufacturers and a printed magazine for investors) both run stories on a new way to lower the cost of making widgets - but each reports the story only from their own "audience's" point of view. If you can connect the dots and make the content more useful for everyone, you've added value to both of the reports and people visiting your site will come away with more insight into the overall direction of the widget industry (and possibly a bookmark to your site).

This doesn't work for every topic. But I have one site that's in a very well-defined niche, and I find that if I read articles and listen to the news with one eye or ear cocked to how my particular niche might have an interest in a story, I do come up with what I think are some new ideas.

[edited by: Beagle at 9:40 pm (utc) on Feb. 6, 2007]

kneoteric_V




msg:3244911
 7:22 am on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Internet has been one of the best (I mean most convenient) platform for conducting any secondary research, therefore, I would have done some home work before start developing one for me.

Turbulence




msg:3245308
 3:57 pm on Feb 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

What can be completely new, IMHO, is finding a relationship between two pieces of content. Say a site for manufacturers and a site for investors (or maybe a site for manufacturers and a printed magazine for investors) both run stories on a new way to lower the cost of making widgets - but each reports the story only from their own "audience's" point of view. If you can connect the dots and make the content more useful for everyone, you've added value to both of the reports and people visiting your site will come away with more insight into the overall direction of the widget industry (and possibly a bookmark to your site).

I couldn't agree more with the above opinion. Linking some pieces of content in a different-from-any-other way is what I call real writing.

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