Stumped by a tough web search question? Want some help from some of the world's best information professionals? Then sidle on up to the FreePint Bar.
FreePint is the must-read newsletter for information researchers published by William Hann and colleagues. The free publication is published "fortnightly" and features a wide range of articles, how-to's and valuable insights for anyone who spends a lot of time searching the web.
The FreePint Bar is a discussion board specifically designed to bring together FreePint contributors and readers to tackle tricky or challenging questions. It's an excellent venue for seeking help for those particularly vexing questions that seem to defy straightforward answers.
It's also an excellent way to observe the methods and thought processes of some of the world's foremost search experts. Contributors to the Bar are generous with both their time and their expertise, sharing not only end results, but tips and techniques that they use to ferret out information.
Though the forum is primarily intended for serious questions, topics range all over the map. Recent discussions have focused on a world war II shipwreck, supermarket industry statistics, help identifying a quotation, and many other varied topics.
Even better, you can search the archives of the Bar's more than 22,000 postings. This is a gold mine of highly concentrated, incredibly useful information for searchers.
Alternately, you can quickly scan recent topics with the bar browser, which also categorizes each posting. There are also numerous ways to customize your experience by setting your own FreePint Bar preferences.
The FreePint Bar is free to members. To sign up, simply provide your name, email address and location. While you're at it, be sure to check out some of the other great resources provided, like the FreePint Portal, with links to all FreePint content by topic, the Bookshelf, featuring reviews of information oriented publications, and DigBig, a nifty free utility that shortens long URLs.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.