Finding The Past

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Research in the Internet Age

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Finding The Past

  1. 1. Finding The Past<br />Research in<br />the Internet Age<br />James D. Best<br />Author of<br />Tempest at Dawn, The Shopkeeper, Leadville, <br />The Shut Mouth Society, Murder at Thumb Butte & The Digital Organization<br />
  2. 2. Research in the Internet Age<br />A wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.<br />Does it help or harm?<br />
  3. 3. A Little Background<br /><ul><li> Started writing fiction in 1998
  4. 4. Previously wrote non-fiction
  5. 5. The Digital Organization
  6. 6. Magazine columns
  7. 7. Journal articles
  8. 8. First novel written Tempest at Dawn
  9. 9. Last novel published Tempest at Dawn</li></li></ul><li>Historical Novels<br />Working on a non-fiction book on the Founding Principles<br />
  10. 10. Dramatizing The Founding<br />Tempest at Dawn<br /><ul><li> Twelve year project
  11. 11. Novelization of Constitutional Convention
  12. 12. Inside Chamber—True to Madison’s notes
  13. 13. Outside Chamber—many events historical or based on circumstantial evidence
  14. 14. Accurate character presentation
  15. 15. Alternating Points of View</li></li></ul><li>Researching Tempest at Dawn<br />The Old Fashioned Way<br /><ul><li>Turn of the century
  16. 16. Read well over 100 books
  17. 17. Constitutional Convention
  18. 18. Biographies
  19. 19. Lifestyle & Philadelphia
  20. 20. Marked up books, then transcribed
  21. 21. Built elaborate timeline</li></li></ul><li>Researching Tempest at Dawn<br />Stuff From The Internet<br /><ul><li>Downloaded source documents
  22. 22. Madison’s notes
  23. 23. Drafts of constitution
  24. 24. Federalist Papers, Anti Federalist Papers
  25. 25. Locke and others
  26. 26. No fact checking on the Internet
  27. 27. Used Computer-based
  28. 28. Encyclopedia
  29. 29. Thesaurus
  30. 30. Dictionary</li></li></ul><li>Finding the Past<br />Working in the Twenty-First Century<br /><ul><li>Historical Novels
  31. 31. Non-Fiction
  32. 32. Blog Contributor
  33. 33. What Would the Founders Think?</li></li></ul><li>Finding the Past<br />Cornucopia or Avalanche?<br /><ul><li> Source for Facts — Hit & Miss
  34. 34. Do I Trust the Source?
  35. 35. Multiple Sites Not Meaningful
  36. 36. Fact Checking — Good
  37. 37. Good Source for Names & Dates
  38. 38. Great for Finding Reliable Primary Source
  39. 39. Great for Coverage of Recent Past</li></ul>The Internet is the world's largest library.  It's just that all the books are on the floor.”<br /> John Allen Paulos<br />
  40. 40. Finding the Past<br />Wikipedia<br />Gouverneur Morris had one leg. He lost it in a carriage accident, but told everyone he lost it jumping from a lady’s balcony. Wikipedia had it backwards.<br />
  41. 41. Finding the Past<br />My Work Habits Today<br /><ul><li> Always Connected
  42. 42. Use the Internet as First Source
  43. 43. Historical Novels
  44. 44. Plot Elements
  45. 45. Historical Color & Details
  46. 46. Fact Checking
  47. 47. Non-Fiction
  48. 48. Used to Find Primary Source
  49. 49. Blogging
  50. 50. Fact Checking?
  51. 51. Article Ideas</li></li></ul><li>Examples of Internet Research<br />Needed a Major Plot Element<br />Problem: a technology with huge potential in mining. <br /><ul><li> Year: 1880
  52. 52. Considered: lumber, security, transport, tools, supplies, lodging, entertainment, etc.
  53. 53. 4-5 Hours on Internet to find solution</li></ul>“We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. ” Robert Wilensky<br />
  54. 54. Examples of Internet Research<br />Thomas Edison demonstrated the light bulb in October 1879<br />
  55. 55. Examples of Internet Research<br />Historical Color and Detail<br /><ul><li> Prescott in 1880
  56. 56. A.T. Cross stylographic pen & propel-repel mechanical pencil
  57. 57. Lees Ferry
  58. 58. Major John Wesley Powell’s journal
  59. 59. Morris Goldwater & Goldwater Store
  60. 60. Wickenburg
  61. 61. Steamer Trunks—Saratoga</li></li></ul><li>Examples of Internet Research<br />Fact Checking—in Mere Minutes<br /><ul><li> Presidential appointment of Frémont
  62. 62. Courthouse in 1880
  63. 63. Publication date for Roughing It by Mark Twain
  64. 64. Value of Double Eagle
  65. 65. Passenger list for Mayflower
  66. 66. Correct name for game of jacks—jackstones
  67. 67. Name of Prescott newspaper in 1880
  68. 68. William Page, NYC artist in 1860s
  69. 69. Owner of Palace Saloon in Prescott</li></ul>Could not verify Dr. Holliday & Virgil Earp in Prescott Spring of 1880<br />Could not find physical description of Virgil Earp<br />
  70. 70. Finding the Past<br />The greatest research tool invented in last few years in not part of the Internet.<br />“Information on the Internet is subject to the same rules and regulations as conversation at a bar.” George Lundberg <br />
  71. 71. Finding the Past<br />eBook readers<br />Archive newspaper articles<br />Search<br />Highlight<br />Comments<br />Email drafts to coauthors<br />Public domain books cheap<br />Best of all: I don’t have to get out of my chair<br />
  72. 72. Finding the Past<br />“The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.” Jon Stewart<br />
  73. 73. Thank You<br />

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