Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Google It!

My new Dreamgoat Annie logo, compliments of Teddi Deppner, Web Design

Here's a piece of advice for aspiring writers, especially anyone living in the backend of nowhere, as I do: take time to learn the nuances of your favorite search engine; search engines are a writer's best friend. I use and recommend Google.

Background: Before moving to the Ozarks ten years ago, I lived in Minnesota in a county served by the East Central Regional Library (ECRL) system. This gave me access to 14 brick-and-mortar libraries in six Minnesota counties as well as MnLink, an online feature that made it possible to order books from all 14 ECRL libraries, right from my computer and delivered to my nearest library. Interlibrary loan through ECRL was amazing; in a week or so I had century-old books in my hands originating in libraries states away or reprints from scientific papers of my choice. ECRL is researcher's heaven.

Then we moved to Arkansas. Our local Hardy library is a wonderful, friendly place peopled by the nicest librarians you could possibly imagine. But even associated with Arkansas' White River Library system, research possibilities are sorely limited.

So, I quickly learned that I'd have to buy my own research materials or find them online. I do both. But except for buying competing books to review, Google supplies nearly all my research material.

If you're looking for the ultimate online research experience and have a high-speed internet connection, I strongly suggest you download Google Guide, a free, 5.86 MB, 146 page guide to everything Google. If you can't download it, use the interactive version online. Need a two-page cheat sheet to keep by your computer? It's free too.

Whatever you need, you can find it through Google. I've already written about the thousands of vintage books downloadable, free through Google Books. Need to refer to a map, modern or ancient? They're there. A video? Images of any topic on earth?

And speaking of Google Images, don't you just love the cool goat logo at the top of this entry? I found it by Googling goat logos. I was looking for ideas for a Dreamgoat Annie logo when I came upon this gem. I clicked on the image and was taken to the website of Teddi Deppner, Web designer extraordinaire. I emailed Teddi to ask if she'd design something similar for me. She replied, saying the friend she designed the logo for is no longer in business, so with her gracious permission it's the start of my Dreamgoat Annie logo—watch for further developments!  

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