One click from answer ?

By: Greg Keins

This article briefly describes most popular places on the net where help, advise and answers on required questions can be found. Overview of Search engines, meta search engines, forums, online help boards and more.

1. Search engines

Google.com, yahoo.com they represents one of best known search engines. SEs holds huge databases, for example google currently have more than 3 milliards records, to be able to process this information quantities server farms are used with thousands of computers. Search results contain pages where lookup words were met. Every SE has its own algorithm on what pages best much search criteria but all of them have aim to show most relevant results for user.

SE weighty advantage is that search industry leaders have their databases filled by milliards of records referencing existing web sites on the net, but they require from user to know most part of answer and some search experience to be able to type in correct keywords, otherwise as usually happens with novice users keywords may be really sensible for required lookup, turned out to be not that really used by most internet community in current field. As consequence search results are far from ideal, usually this are sites similar to looking-for but not that really useful.

Only experience coming with time and hope on search engines will be more intellectual in future seems help. Another way is to spend more time on lookup and parse most of search results (more than first page of results) this will for sure move near to success.

Also exists meta search engines (they don't have own databases but reuse and combine existing top search engines results together), they provide more optimized results and keep only most relative matches.

Hear is list of most popular search and meta search engines:

Search engines by popularity:

Meta Search engines:

2.

Forum boards

This is for sure more humanized type of information conception. Any forum board divided into several subjects, where forum users can post questions. Any single question with follow up and answers called thread. Threads keep single post history.

Person looking for help posts message describing problem and usually within one day some body with god will helps. Most forums have possibility to turn on auto notification for new responses, posted by email. Once posted your issue in few or more forums, checking newly email messages will keep up to date with problem resolving. Good sign for forum is number of messages per unique thread, more than 100 is good, as more visitors will see your request as soon you will get required help.

Hear is few popular help forums:

3. News groups

News groups is coming from that early times when internet was not worldwide available.

They were available mostly through bulletin board systems and terminal connections.

Now this is forum type help resource but advantage is there are a lot of news groups on many subjects and all messages archived since at least 1994 year. So there is pretty much chances that you will find already existed same problem with few possible solutions.

There are few web interfaces to news groups, most handy for me was Google:

4. Documentation

Every product, service or tool coming with user manual and documentation.

This was always best and most smart way to get issues resolved but major problem is time required to get acquainted with often tens or even hundred manual pages. Not rare cases when person just missing so much time.

5. Online help chat

This is so called human 2 human service. Most major web portals support this type of service for its own needs, example is ebay auction. Any answers get resolved immediately via online chat by ebay support person. Only problem is that ebay works only with its registered users and support only ebay concerning issues.

Online help is best possible service for present day, it reduces lookup efforts from hours or even days to minutes. For today I found one such place and meet there good and prompt support

Conclusion

From described above seen that guaranteed direction is original manuals that usually foresee most common issues and pitfalls but it is for sure require enough free time. From the other side human 2 human services - online help chat is easiest and most prompt service existing today.

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