The Internet is a Resource, Not a Mentor

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I know I’ve written about this before but it is so important that I thought I’d do it again.

Before you get all, “Your generation doesn’t understand how we get our information. Your old ways take too long to explain and provide more information then I need when I need it.”

Let me start by saying you’re right. We do take too long explaining what you need to understand, regarding what you want to understand. (How cool was that sentence.)

There is no doubt You Tube is a valuable resource for answering a question (singularly / one at a time questions). Searching Google definitely will get you to a ton of information in the blink of an eye.

But which link is the right link?  Which YT video is the right video? Can you trust any of this information?

I use both You Tube and Google regularly.

But that’s not learning. That’s answering a question (singular) or finding a quick piece of information.  And if you don’t already possess some knowledge about the question, you will have a difficult time sorting through the all the thousands of replies You Tube and Google provide. It will also be difficult to know which ones are of real value and which ones will send you down the rabbit hole. 

Oh, and BTW picking one of the top answers served up by search engines are not always the best. Those answers are usually the ones the bots have offered up by a business algorithm.  Yes, those helpful resources are a business, a BIG business. Those “information sources” are the platforms’ customers, even though you are the one supporting the business by your participation.

The platforms are pushing you to product (postings and links) no differently than stores do by placing an item they want to sell directly in you sight lines.

Then there are other platforms you can search for answers.  These are interactive Communities.  Reddit, Creative Cow, and many other communities that that have sub groups with focused interests. To some degree Facebook and LinkedIn offer these.

On these, IF you can get someone to respond to your question, you have a better chance of getting a good answer (singular).


Because they are a community of people who will challenge someone’s wrong answer (post).

Given the short comings I just mentioned these resources can be helpful in getting a correct answer to a question (singular). I keep mentioning “singular” because that’s basically what they do. They respond to singular question or concern.

You ask your question, phrased as best as you can, then they throw possible answers at you.  Most of the time assuming you know what you’re doing and just need a quick fit or a short cut that will get you close to what you’re looking for.

But what happens when the answers can’t be told in a single point?

What happens when there are several steps or information you should know before you even ask your question?

What about all the variations of your question that need to be taken into consideration? Most of which you had have no idea existed? 

Let’s say you were asked to set up a virtual talk show.  The client wanted to have one of her guests sing a song live.  The singer is in their studio and is adamant about using their vocal mic. They have no idea how to connect the mic that flows through the studio console to the World Wide Web (haha remember when it was called that)

Good luck if you starting your search with “How do I …” then list all the devises that are in the path from the vocalist to your capture platform.

OR “I want to….” And then try to short speak your situation.

My guess is you will be entering questions after questions and just falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole until you actually forget what your initial question was.  It’s happened to all of us.

If you view the internet as a huge library and the search engines as a librarian (oh that’s the person who used to sit at the desk in the library and point you to the book or information you were looking for) all the librarian could do was suggest what book (s) “might” have the information you needed. It was still up to you to read through that book (s) trying to locate the specific information you needed. 

In doing that, reading through the book (s), you “might” find the answer to your question and might gain an extended bit of information needed to put that answer into an effective application.

If the librarian’s suggestions were wrong or you presented to vague a question, you’d be back at the desk trying again.

Another more timely and practical approach is talk to professionals who either have the experience you need or have a network of people who can get you your answers. Now your question becomes a conversation. That conversation will not only yield a vetted answer but will give you a deeper understanding of the subject. This understanding will pay off a hundred-fold when you come up against future questions. It’s called valued intellectual growth! (How to develop a network of professionals can be found in other blogs on Ferro City or use the Ferro City searches)

Too often people view professional contacts as only a resource for finding gigs, which is true. 

But building a network of intelligent experienced people will always provide you with an in-depth understanding of your current problem or situation.

The bottom line is, internet search resources can’t and shouldn’t replace interacting face to face with a community of “real” people. The byproducts of personal interactions yield so much more than a string of never-ending vague replies and may also landed you gigs and a future. 

Fast track your entertainment production career