A Good Grad 2.0 feature

The social age of Information - it is beginning to resemble a formula from a Lewis Carroll novel! *Image source: Shutterstock, Inc Image Credit: PushkinThe social age of Information *Image source: Shutterstock, Inc Image Credit: Pushkin

The social age of Information  - it is beginning to resemble a Lewis Carroll novel!

It is quite hard to understand why anyone would bother to ask (sometimes silly) questions these days when answers lie within the tips of our fingers -  literally.

Back in the day we used to have the ordained task of trekking to school or public libraries, or in some cases, rely on the (often egoistic) local nerd to help answer questions and grasp difficult concepts.

Most don’t realise it, but we carry information boxes via our smartphones and tablets daily. And while it is easy to get bombarded by misinformation and what a current western administration has coined as ´fake news´,  it is important to be able to identify credible sources when conducting research or looking for quick answers.

A simple online search for a diagnosis for instance, can lead to you discovering that you only have three days to live if you land on the wrong pages – or worse yet uncover an evil ploy to live underground or in the ocean. Not all theories are far-fetched as soon we will be seeing flying cars or drones such as the EHANG 184 – which we have previously featured .

One entrenched source of information that we subconsciously consume daily is social media. Thanks to the likes of Facebook , Instagram and Twitter, news and information travels within milli-seconds. People tune into local news broadcasts only to get things that are specific to their area as everything else is `mobile`.

And whether rumour of fact, these quick news snippets get the mind ticking and prompts further research to more credible sources. Football clubs, politicians and musicians alike are actively using them to break new signings, announce new albums or push new policy or campaign objectives. In addition, most, if not all companies, banks governmental institutions and even religious organizations -  all have a presence some way or another on social media and use it to promote their brands.

So, you see, ignoring the news and social media completely these days is the equivalent of retreating into a cabin in the woods or cave, and shutting oneself completely from family and the rest of the world!

We would like to highlight are few of the more credible (or pointers to) information sources that one should be bookmarking and using daily for correct information. These should as always, be subject to scrutiny, so always compare with two or more for definitive answers.

If you need to catch up to reality (and yes, this is a new reality), here is a quick guide to the mainstream information sources that can be used as starting points:

**Generally, a simple solution to finding your way around this maze of intelligence is by visiting the official websites of what/who you are looking for is a good place to start or end your search.

Google: the biggest search engine and while it generates more results (quickly than other search engines such as the now ailing Yahoo or Microsoft ´s Bing) – it also can carry a lot of misinformation. Google specifically has great features such as the voice activated ´Ask Google´ feature (especially on Android-based smartphones) that is quite responsive and good if you want voice activated quick responses.

Wikipedia: always a quick reference guide but bear in mind that these are composed by individuals so while fairly accurate, it should be subject to some scrutiny especially when it comes to dates and events. It however gets reviewed/verified regularly still quite the ´go-to´ source for quick facts. Be wary ´the usage of short ´Wikis´ though.

Investopedia: for credible and simple to understand finance related terms concepts on the go along with related news and great blogs.

IMDb: International Movie Database - is a one-stop source of credible information about movies, celebrities (biographies) and TV shows.

Billboard.com and Rolling Stone: Music is life. For a great source of music, artists, biographies, album details and charts.

Global News sources:

Reuters: Has become a central point for global news.

BBC: British Broadcasting Corporation – they also make great documentaries and series such as the brilliantly produced car show Top Gear and well-scripted detective series, Sherlock.

CNBC and Bloomberg: (for money and finance) – up to date finance and stock market news focusing on industries and companies with great insights and interviews of CEOs and company owners such as Jack Ma of Alibaba and of policy makers as well.

Der Spiegel: one of Germany´s top news publications (started as print), that also has a TV channel to cover mostly German and European news with solid unbiased political analysis and is also international.

Popular Social Media:

Twitter: It is quick, instant and addictive to some. It is the best platform to announce and inform and share information quickly via PCs and mobile apps – often before major can media can break it. It’s very common for news anchors to quote the tweet handle of a politician when breaking their news these days.

Facebook: Launched as the first real social media platform to connect university and college peers, it has grown to be the one source of finding old flames, colleagues, family and even criminals!

LinkedIn: an important but often overlooked source of company information, recruitment and career building website that though looks like Facebook at times is more career-oriented and often a great source for recruiters to head-hunt the best talents globally.

Instagram: got a cool picture that captures your mood or special moment or holiday trip? – this app has fully-fledged (due to uptake by celebrities like the Kardashians) to take over the likes of similar older picture sharing platforms such as Photobucket or Flickr.

Snapchat: More for the youth but also enjoyed by adults, mostly celebrities like DJ Khaled - who is often viewed as its `ambassador`. It also recently grew up (in number of users) phenomenally and was recently listed on the NYSE as a result.