I'm really curious about which websites everyone refers to while looking up information for their hubs. This query of mine was sparked by this forum discussion: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/133532#post2771210
Or does everyone use information from: your experience, books, TV, etc.? Please do answer!
For almost every general topic, Wikipedia.
If it's a current event I'll use Wiki and some favored news sites. Similar for sports and movies/TV (using both Wiki and IMDb and others).
If it's something academic (and modern) I'll use Wiki and use it as a jumping-off point for further study -- either using the names and people in the article to find more, or directly clicking the links and books in the references section.
But for things of academic interest that are historical, Wikipedia is pretty much a standalone resource for me, things like ancient Greek history or languages of the Amazaon, etc. Those topics are pretty fixed and standard and I may get all the info I need from the one article.
They may be fixed and standard topics, but the Wikipedia pages on them are not static!
When I first encountered Wikipedia I was hugely impressed and used it all the time - but then I checked pages on historical and academic topics I'm qualified in, and was horrified at the results!
I spent a lot of time fixing up those pages. Every now and then I go back and check on them again, and sure enough, some idiot has added in a load of conjecture or myth, or presented a theory as solid fact. Which just goes to show that pages change all the time. If those few pages as so full of that kind of garbage, and so frequently changed, then so will others be! So now, I don't trust it.
I had to check Wikipedia a few times when writing about famous people, and find that the profiles aren't updated much. I often have to find celebrity blogs to be up to date with what's going on in a famous person's life. In some cases, Wiki is about three years behind. A lot can happen in a person's life in that much time.
Much depends on your topic. In my case, I have 50 years of experience, so the resource for much of what I write comes from me.
However, I do read online forums, industry news, speak to sales people and repairmen as well as talking to others who also are enthusiasts.
I love it when certain people comment that I "must not know much about" my topic simply because they may disagree with what I say.
While nobody knows everything, I do my best to give accurate information because people listen to what I say and often use it as a basis for pursuing purchases, etc.
For instance, I never review a motor home or camper that I have not personally owned and traveled in or suggest products that I have not used successfully.
This is what's fair to do for readers and it is also what brings me credibility.
Most of my hubs are about movies and/or music. I can quote a lot of facts off the top of my head because such trivia has become ingrained in my DNA after so many years of total fanboy-ism (haha), but I do occasionally consult sites like IMDb, NoLifeTilMetal.com, Blabbermouth.net and Wikipedia just to make sure that I have spellings of names, album/film release dates, band lineups/rosters, etc. correct.
I also have a big stash of old rock magazines in my bedroom closet (Circus, Metal Edge, Metal Maniacs, etc.) which I jokingly refer to as my "Research Library."
For subjects I've studied for years, since childhood, I rely on my own knowledge. For some subject matter, my own books. Yet, for some subject matter I research on the Internet. So, depends. Can't name specific websites, I just do some research on the Net and look at many articles, forum threads and videos. If it's Net research I do, I do a lot of cross-references. I also, of course, check the reliability of the sources.
I guess I'd say it depends on both my own knowledge and my own resources.
I copy a lot of boring factual stuff from Wiki. That is only fair because mostly they have copied it from somewhere else.
For sales pages I copy a lot of Amazon reviews and rip off their product pictures. I can't afford to actually buy their overpriced stuff so it's their fault. Surprisingly, given that most of their reviews are paid for, they are a bit rubbish so I might change a few words to make it my own.
For humorous pages I rip a lot of stuff straight out of Buzzfeed or Huffpost, sometimes the Daily Mash.
And all my pictures come from Google Images. They made a good living out of plagiarising the web so I am just following their footsteps. Often I take ownership of those pictures by putting a few words on them and sharing to Pinterest.
For the rest of my material I 'content curate'. Wander round the web looking for stuff that doesn't make me vomit with boredom and rearrange it nicely with my name underneath.
There is a point to this post. Many will not get it. The point is that what I have described is a method of operation for MANY 'writers' on the internet whether they be bloggers, mainstream media or other commentators. Grab a few bits, stick it together, job done.
I get a bit sick of it now and again.
Something old is new again
What has been will be again
what has been done will be done again
there is nothing new under the sun
and a silver sixpence in her shoe
That approach can be valid, Mark, if value is added. For example, when I write on biomedical topics, I search the biomedical literature via PubMed. If this shows links to free full-text articles, I will access them. Otherwise, I admit that I depend on the abstract in PubMed. I read through what I have retrieved, use my scientific expertise to make a critical evaluation of what I have read and identify the current consensus of the scientific community on the matter in question. I then rephrase these findings in a way to make them comprehensible to an educated layperson.
I consider this approach does add value, despite the fact my writing is based on the work of others. Unfortunately, there seem to be few intelligent laypeople around to read what I write and Hubpages delights in unpublishing my meticulously researched hubs due to a lack of traffic, despite the fact that Google would have no reason to consider my content low quality. This is why I've stopped publishing here. I do not take kindly to being treated with such contempt by HP.
As for Wikipedia, any author who references this appalling "knowledge by majority vote" pool of garbage instantly loses all credibility in my eyes and I leave that article immediately.
Low traffic has nothing to do with low quality. Traffic, for better or worse, is a matter of how many people want to have the information you provide. Furthermore, if all you are doing is reorganizing information that others have already produced, this is not really research, in the true sense of the word. Perhaps the reason for your low traffic and de featuring is the result of people reading the original work, rather than that which has been spun.
How dare you insult me by accusing me of spinning articles!
Many people are unable to obtain a full understanding of original articles in the biomedical literature, because they cannot understand the terminology and have no grasp of the concepts involved. They need this material interpreted and rephrased in language and at a conceptual level that they can understand. Also, without a grounding in the field, they do not have the capacity to evaluate the wider meaning of such information. This is apparent in the rubbish that is found in so many psuedo-scientific articles, of which Hubpages has more than its fair share. Unfortunately, it is this inaccurate and sensationalist claptrap that goes viral, because it tells people what they want to hear rather than presenting them with the truth.
I studied biomedicine up to PhD level, carried out original research in it and published original journal articles. Moreover, I completed an additional postgraduate diploma in information studies, focusing on how to search for, critically evaluate and re-present information. Subsequent to this, and before turning to freelance activities (of my own volition incidentally, leaving a very secure job in which I was highly valued), I spent nearly 15 years in a position where my duties included interpreting such material to various audiences: general public, school children, university students, industrialists, civil servants, politicians and indeed other scientists at a national and international level. A couple of my "spun" reports were produced at the express request of the European Commission and were very well received when I presented them in Brussels.
This is a good one - Spooky Interactions - Proven
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/scien … mp;emc=rss
95% of my hubs are fiction pieces. For my recipes I rely on my culinary knowledge and experience in the hospitality industry. My writing related hubs are from personal experience and researched from various books. Author interviews are just that, with prepared research.
My history hubs are researched from books, local history groups, and visits to the towns in question.
I write about topics I studied for years, along with topics I want to learn about now. I find it helps me to learn faster if I write about whatever the topic is. I read two or three books a week, so I get ideas from novels at times. I mostly write about metaphysical subjects, but I belong to two organizations where I attend classes and workshops on that, and travel in circles with people of the same interests.
Taking info from Wikipedia is just boring, unless you just need to be sure you have a few facts correct. Personal experience is good, but this isn't a diary, so don't get too personal. History is always good.
I write a lot of pregnancy related content, so I use "generic" sites to find ancedotal answers (babycentre, yahoo answers etc) and then research further on sites like Pubmed, The Cochrane Collaboration, Midwife Thinking, Spinning Babies and Evidence Based Birth.
I am a qualified birth doula so it usually gives me an idea of what sites to trust and which ones just base it on a quick Google.
I write(not under this id) about the topics I study as I know a bit more about such topics . Fortunately topics I write about are read by a lot of people. I stay away from topics that I don't know much about, not because I cannot write about them but because it will take a lot of time to research and understand these topics.
And most of the times I do not use Wikipedia as a reference.
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