Keep up to date

How to consume news/information?

If you are not on the first page of a Google search you are effectively nowhere; perhaps if you are not in the first three search results you don’t stand much chance of getting viewed. This presents a problem of trust; we have to trust that the Google search algorithms are good enough to return factually correct information. Wikipedia was “about as accurate on science as the Encyclopedia Britannica, a study shows.” There is even a page on the reliability of Wikipedia. I might be one of a rare few that often get curious about the websites I might be missing, but even so, despite my curiosity, nine times out of 10 I click the first returned result.

I’ve wondered many times how I consume news. I rely on different forms of media (written, spoken and visual) across a range of platforms. But how can I ensure that I am not getting a bias, or that my bias is leading to information I want to hear in a way I want to hear it? If I walk past an A board in the street, or if I hear overhear a conversation on the train or see a random tweet on twitter can I be sure that I am getting the facts?

How should I stay up to date with the latest developments in a chosen profession?

  • Attend conferences
  • Read ‘trusted’ material (peer reviews papers?)
  • Read ‘non trusted’ material (blogs?)
  • Conversations with peers or external people
  • Google Alerts
  • Join associations/societies
  • Search the web / Twitter / YouTube etc

ESRI posted 50 videos

(seemingly the playlist is 55 now) from the latest user conference

Most are over an hour long, that means to consume all this information you will need over 50 hours of focused time. It is surely a great resource and I doubt that ESRI would expect you to watch every video, but they give us the choice. Luckily there is a synopsis for example

“Survey123 for ArcGIS is a simple and intuitive form-centric data gathering solution for creating, sharing and analyzing surveys in three easy steps. Create smart forms with skip logic, defaults, support for multiple languages, and much more. Equip field workers with mobile devices to capture data in any environment, with minimal training.”

This helps a lot, but even so when you have 50 videos to scroll through and find the one (or many) that appeal to you, you need to a) know what you are looking for and b) have an efficient in-built filter mechanism (your brain).

It takes certainly takes motivation and an interest in a subject, but to keep up to date a continuous learning strategy is critical.

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