Ever Since I started the independent artist | music journey on the web, I have been mining it for useful information and helpful resources on a daily basis to help guide me on my way. Need a great tip? Blogs are great pit stop. Want to learn form the pros? There is usually one at every at every other exit. Get lost and can’t find your way? Google it. It is a wonderful road map to take on any journey. Just be careful when you drive past page 10 of the search results. You just might lose your way… unless you’re specifically looking for back highway links to nowhere.
Anyway, what’s great about the wonderful world of the web (www) is much of the information on its pages is toll free. Blogs, Social networks Indie music, art, images, eBooks, videos tutorials, etc; many sites give away information freely, some on a daily basis. Most are great places to visit. I circle the best on my bookmark road map for regular return visits.
Unfortunately on every journey, it is very easy to take a wrong turn off the information highway. There are many spy-ware dead ends, spam road blocks, redirect road maps and viral potholes that can slow you down on your journey, or stop you dead in your tracks; or worse redirect you to the back highway links to nowhere. Take it from me, its no where you want to be when you have websites to visit and information to find.
Want to find great places on the internet? Well here are some places to start your road trip:
1. Google is usually a greats starting point. Not just any Google search, find what many people are searching for in Google trends and start there. It’s always best to take the safe and most traveled routes. If you decide to take a more scenic route follow the links from trusted sites and resources.
- Since we are on the subject of Google, try searching in Google groups. By simply switching tabs from Web to Groups, your search term(s) will be repeated on the Groups archives. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in regular searches, try the groups search. You will be surprised what you find.
- I suggest taking the time to learn how to efficiently use search engines. If you spend any amount of time on the web, you should look into using the more advanced features. More importantly learn how to use them and search smarter. There are many tips and tricks on how to use search engines to your advantage. For more info, Google “search tips and tricks.”
- I haven’t used Bing as of yet, but I am hearing great things about its comparable services. I hear it is actually taking the lead in some areas of search. Bing’s Xrank would be the search equivalent to Google Trends.
2. Many well developed and popular sites offer links to other pages on the same topic that they consider worthwhile. They are inviting you to compare their information with other pages. I usually find great links from sites I visit often. It is the main reason I choose to return.
3. Take the time to search web directories; many take the time to categorize topics for you. The best directories pick and choose which websites are added to their list e.g. sites such as DMOZ associated with Yahoo.
4. Article Directories are another great resource. Ezine and Articlebase often provide great content that lead you back to the author’s home page.
5. For those of you who haven’t visited social bookmarking services such as Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious, they’re considered a must stop in your list of destinations. They take much of the guess work out of searches for you and because they incorporate many social features, they are considered much safer routes.
6. The list would not be complete without Twitter, the new highway sheriff in town. Jurisdiction, real time searches and trends. Make it a point to follow trusted resources, brands and people. I am always finding great locations on the web from sources that match my own interests. Just be careful who you follow. The amount of followers is not always the best indicator of a trusted twitterer.
Finally, regardless of where you start your search, use common sense when navigating on the information highway. Stay on the well traveled routes and follow recommended links and you should be fine