This network is full of up-to-date knowledge regarding more and more different topics. I don't know any other knowledge base (global brain) with similar properties and options and minimal redundancy. Only alternatives seem to be:
- searching the web with Google (problem of spam, duplicates, imho much less ordering as no social & semantic rating/tagging)
- reading scientific literature (without good background knowledge of topic and terminology hard to grasp, often paywall)
- hiring/asking (finding) an (true) expert
What I especially like about SE is the possibility to introduce yourself rapidly in a new topic by reading the most important Q&A that you should/have to consider (by sorting via votes/tags). You don't need to know the appropriate search terms as with many other search services.
You might answer "just search SE with Google like most boards/forums lacking a good built in search" But I'm quite unsure this is the most productive way here or if the Google algorithm is even falsifying drastically the social/semantic ordering of the important knowledge here in its page rank.
In short, what methods/operators offered by the SE network and other services (there are e.g. even a lot of third-party search apps for Twitter's second class built in search) should I use to minimize search time and gather valuable information that I'm actually seeking for on SE?
I currently use mostly
the operators here http://stackoverflow.com/search for site specific search, unfortunately you cant search tags or tag-synonyms on all SE sites(?). Or can I search with Google somehow for tags on a single Q&A site?
http://stackexchange.com/ for searching all sites with Google and mostly use Google
AROUND(x)operator to get a not too falsified results ranking.
Are there better ways to look for standard knowledge & questions on a new topic (for yourself) and staying up to date (subscribing to SE tag-feeds)? The features of SE are constantly optimized and increased; so you may miss a lot. How do you use our second brain in a productive way?
As this question got some interest and fav-bookmarks I wrote my own answer (I found by chance) how to use SE brain productively when e.g. introducing yourself to a new topic. Other problems would imho be:
- updating your knowledge with SE (e.g. you were in holiday for some weeks)
- sort questions somehow by basic/advanced/expert knowledge (maybe high reputation of user asking & answering)
- staying up-to-date on specific questions/problems (productive use of SE filter, search, rss, ... -options)
- staying up-to-date on feature updates of our second brain (e.g. sort by this tag or look this thread)
- how to reduce redundancy on your subscribed SE RSS feeds with SE tools?
- how to become aware of knowledge streaking a topic you follow but you don't know it's actually important (e.g. for future-planning, maybe its better here to follow one of the SE well-known experts here on a specific topic (if this is possible somehow - e.g. show questions a expert made at least a comment or an answer), on twitter this is the common way)
- 3rd-party tools to use SE (some examples)
- hidden features of SE
If you know a good way to solve these issues, please post.