What kind of stuff do you think you will need?
Where are you going to find information related to your topic?
How will you judge if it good or bad information?
Hmmm… considering the topic I have selected, writing, I’d start with community groups in my PLNs. Writers publish in so many places and share their passion on the web happily. I’d set up RSS feeds (which I’ll start gathering this week) and read the buzz online to become acquainted with what’s making the “headlines” in that world at the moment.
My Twitter feeds will be imperative here – I’ll be following writers, organisations and publishers to get a feel for different styles of writing, festivals, self-publishing, book launches, etc. I adore Medium for this purpose – I read pieces there often and highly appreciate the perspectives and advice on offer from a variety of published and amateur authors. Plus, I love how it’s so multi device friendly – I tend to read it a lot when in waiting rooms or other temporary limbo areas.
(By the way… I just finished my annual religious pilgrimage to the Melbourne Writers’ Festival last week. I left Mark Latham’s offering in disgust…. but, was happy as a clam with all the others that I attended.)
I’m a member of Writers Victoria – they’re wonderful for keeping me updated on workshops, writing competitions, talks being held at the Wheeler Centre, as well as providing good fodder to read from new and emerging writers, as well as published celebrity writers.
Overall, considering the subject I have selected, I recognise that a lot of my connections and opportunities for gathering knowledge and information will start with the writing community.
When it comes to the technical aspects of writing, I will refer to authors’ works, and e-texts that cover the subject in a variety of ways. If I’m seeking more recent authoritative information, I will resort to conducting searches via electronic databases in the library web sites in university web sites.
As for judging whether what I find is good or bad, that could potentially be quite subjective, considering the nature of the topic I have selected. However, as with other subjects, there is always an origin of the mechanics of writing, the prescribed literatures and authoritative commentary by academics on why something is good or bad in their professional opinions.
Tough call… it might ultimately come down to personal taste a lot of the time with this one.