Go away, Google. Freelance writers don’t want to depend on you anymore for our research needs. After all, it seems that every time a writer goes to Google for research, they come away feeling like they need a bath. From advertisement site listings half a page long to being unable to set permanent search preferences, Google sucks. There are several optional search engines available including ones that pay you to search, i.e. Swagbucks. However, it never fails that these, too, have their limits.
Enter the world of finding what everyone else is talking about. For content on the web, this is key to keeping readers’ interests peaked. No one wants old news, not even day old news. As a result, it’s time to step up your search methods so to find the Kobe beef of resources.
The best place I’ve found—please comment below if you have found a better one—to find the latest and greatest searched items of the day is Addictomatic. You can either punch in a topic to search for, or depend on the most popular topics for your search which, for today, include:
- Game of Thrones
Then again, the best thing to do is to search by subject for your information, which includes the following:
- Top News
This gives you the most popular searches that come up related to a specific subject. If you are pitching articles, for say a client about entertainment, simply go to the Entertainment subject and reveal the top subjects in the news and on the Web for that moment. It also categorizes information based on sources. For instance, when searching in Green, you get news from:
- National Geographic
- New York Times Environment
- Reuters Environment
- Green Tech Blog
Your endless search for viable sources is over!
Another site similar to Addictomatic, but more visually stimulating is News360. Start by choosing the categories of news you want to look into from dozens of available topics, such as healthy living, self improvement, travel and literature. Next you are taken to a screen that shows the most recent news reports that are associated with your selected categories.
For example, when you choose self improvement, a screen filled with images and text from the likes of:
- Elite Daily
- The Huffington Post
You see a time for when the news articles were posted on the web—the newest ones in the self improvement search were posted only two hours ago. Here you can give the articles a thumb’s up or down, as well as share or bookmark them, making aggregating your research easy peasy.
If you need the most reputable sources in town, skip on over to Storify. Here you get the same visually appealing news feed as found with News360, as well as the option to make your news as reputable as it can be. Choose to source the most up-to-date news from:
Once you select one of these categories, you receive only news that fits that category. So for example, with government, the sources of news currently on my screen are:
- Clarence House aka where Will and Kate live
- The White House
- Let’s Move! (letsmove.gov)
- Foreign Office (FCO)
- Federal Communications Commission
Not only are you sure to find the latest information in your particular niche of writing, but at the top of each news feed are thumbnails of each of the sources used in today’s news. For freelancers looking to expand their resources, this is the Waygu!
Miranda B writes wherever she goes and about whatever she does, which makes for some highly entertaining and often surprising content.