Friday, August 18, 2017

Changes in SearchResearch. (Simpler Challenges and an upcoming book)


... as you might have noticed, after a few years of pretty punctual posts, the past few months have had a series of slightly delayed posts, or posts that ran over multiple weeks.  

You might wonder why. 

Part of it has been all of my travels interfering with my posting.  (It's really hard to connect to wifi from a boat bobbing in the ocean way offshore.)  

But there are two other things going on:  First, as I mentioned in this week's Challenge, sometimes the questions turn out to be tricky, and take a lot longer than I have budgeted for my SRS writing.  Generally, that's great, as it means there's really something interesting going on, and it's worth dedicating the time to writing it up. 

My goal in writing SRS is to help readers understand more about how to do online research.  Sure, I love to show you the inner workings of Google search, but as you've probably noticed, we end up touching on lots of different topics.  (There are times when I've recommended Bing, Wolfram Alpha, and many, many different databases and data sets.)  

As I've said before, one of my ultimate goals in setting up and writing this blog has been to figure out if there's a need for a book about "how to do online research."  And if so, what should be in such a book.  

Not actually me, but close.  Original work by Rembrandt. 
Second:  The second big thing that's been going on is that I'm trying to finally actually write that book.  

To nobody's surprise, the book will be based on what we've learned in SRS, and will be heavily inspired by what we've learned here.  

So now I'm writing this book.  It's tentatively called "The Joy of Finding Out," (affectionately known as JOFO). I bet it'll get a subtitle later on, perhaps something like "How to do fast, effective, and accurate research on the internet."  Or something.  

I've already sketched out the entire book, and managed to write big chunks of it in-between writing the Challenges and Answers for SRS.  But it's been slow going since the average SRS week-of-writing is around 5 hours.  

What does this mean?  Well, first off, I need to cut back on my SRS writing time by a bit.  Going forward, I'm going to simplify the Challenges a bit.  I need to free up some time to work on the book.  I'll keep doing roughly 1 Challenge / Answer each week (although I reserve the right to stretch them out to a 2-week issue if I'm behind on writing).  

Also, I'd love to have a person or two act as a first-pass reader of the text.  If you're interested in (and have the time), let me know if I can send you a chapter or two for your comments.  Click here to let me know if you'd like to either (a) be an early reader, or (b) sign up to be notified when the book is complete.  

I'm still around... and will be working even harder on SRS... but much of that work will be on the book, and it won't come out for a while.  I'm hoping for mid-2018... but stay tuned. 

Keep searching... and keep reading.  There's MUCH more to come! 

--- Dan 


  1. Hello Dr. Russell! Congratulations for the upcoming book. Hope you add on the title the Search On. I read in some post that you didn't create it. And, I think is something that totally represents you. Of course, if I can help with something, I am here.

    Maybe you can post 1 SRS Challenge per month so you can have more time and we can go deep in the searches and learn even more. In any case, thanks for doing Challenges, book and for giving us your time. I really appreciate that.

  2. a book is a big deal - write standing up, have lots of cats around, stay focused and roll some humor in… just my unsolicited suggestions… maybe a blog about writing a book & a blog afterward…
    good luck with the endeavor.
    had no idea those van Rijns were so reasonable… free shipping
    “cargo cult”
    wondered where the big ?s were…
    close up
    JOFO writer - Rembrandt/Russellbrandt
    close (but before Google)
    after the book
    cenotes related
    Clap on…
    some interactios – writing, standing, purring
    5 scribbling places

    Surge on… Find on! Joy on! Write on! Clap off…

  3. Congratulations on writing a book on the search. Your tips have helped many people in my life. Looking forward to the book.