One of the many things that’s wonderful about being an information professional is how generous we all tend to be with resources. We info geeks love to share where, and how, and what we did to find information sources.
This week I wanted to point you in the direction of five fellow searchers – who are not in the fundraising intelligence field – who each have blogs (and newsletters, and white papers, and more) with the kind of enthusiasm for sharing about research that elevates them to the status of true researchers’ researchers. I think they’re some of our larger profession’s best examples of generosity.
Researchbuzz, Tara Calishain
If you’re not following Tara Calishain on Twitter (@ResearchBuzz), by RSS feed, the Firehose blog, and/or by email newsletter, you’re missing out on one of the richest resources for researchers around. Go right now! Sign up and then come back!
Calishain has set up over 100 alerts set up to discover new research resources and she freely points you to those information-packed databases throughout the day or in a digest form, if you prefer. In addition , she has written tons of articles to help you build better search strategies and even wrote quite a few books on search back in the day. For her Patreon supporters, Calishain also creates topical white papers and search-strategy insider guides.
Boolean Strings, Irina Shamaeva
Irina Shamaeva is a sourcing professional – someone who helps human resource departments, recruiters, and companies identify top talent for open jobs. Because of that, she and sourcing professionals like her do a lot of the same sort of biographical research that we prospect research pros do. In addition to training classes (one of which I have attended, and it was super-packed with good information), white papers, and lots of resources offered for free on her website, Shamaeva also has a great blog called Boolean Strings. She’s also on Twitter @BrainGain, sharing tips, tricks and training session information.
Her recent articles that grabbed me included how to create customized notifications from alerts and helpful Chrome extensions for scraping and organizing web data.
PIBuzz, Tamara Thompson
Tamara Thompson is a San Francisco Bay Area private investigator, and although she’s not a prolific blogger (which may be an advantage if you struggle to keep up with people like I do), one of the things I like about her blog is her concentration on public records and creative ways to search them. For researchers without a ton of paid resources available to them, Thompson is a great guide to identifying and using free resources.
Thompson stays up on social media search, too, and her latest post on the reason why she selects incognito mode when searching Facebook was a real eye-opener. While there are certainly some sources that PIs use that we wouldn’t, it never hurts to be watching the detectives to see what they’re getting out of public databases. She’s on Twitter with two accounts, @ThompsonPI and @PIBuzz.
Bates Information Services, Mary Ellen Bates
Speaking of keeping up with social media and Facebook searching, Mary Ellen Bates is also someone whose blog you don’t want to miss. Her posts are usually short, to the point, and provide great search tips – much like having someone whose shoulder you can look over when they’re working.
Bates is another generous information professional with years of experience who, in addition to being a professional researcher, also coaches and trains through her presentations, ebooks and white papers. She can be found on Twitter @MEBS, sharing lots of great resources.
SearchReSearch, Dan Russell
Russell works at Google, where he studies how searchers search and researches (and shares) how we can search more efficiently. He knows from searching. Russell posts around four times per month to his blog, SearchReSearch, and his blog entries are detailed, informative, and very geeky.
Russell also posts research challenges fairly regularly, and it’s fun to try and solve the puzzles, or to see how others managed to do it (Russell encourages people to post how they solved the puzzle so that he can watch and learn how people search). Fascinating.
You can follow him on Twitter, too @DMRussell.
But wait, there’s more
I’ve actually got more than five people in the information professional category that I follow, and they can be found here on one of my StartMe pages.
What other non-fundraising-related searchers do you follow?