By Monnie Ryan
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – By now, readers know this column is about online information – how and where to find what you need when you need it (better yet, before you need it). So taking a look at the most popular question-and-answer websites seems a fitting way to end what has been a tumultuous year.
And listen up – I promised in the November column to take a peek at podcasts. So I’ll follow through on that as well.
One of my favorite Q&A sites is HowStuffWorks.com, which ranks eighth on the Aelieve.com popularity rankings for sites of this type. Topics include health, science, technology, money and auto. Choose one at the top of the home page to see several related articles. In the tech section, they range from relatively simple – like how to move photos from a memory card to a PC or laptop – to reasons your WiFi keeps disconnecting and how to fix it.
Trending under health care, not surprisingly, are articles related to COVID-19. The one I warmed up to, though, informed me that I no longer need to shoot for 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health; just 7,000 –which most days for me is easy peasy – provides plenty of benefits. I also signed up for the free e-newsletter, an easy way to stay in the loop.
Another cool site is RapidTables.com, a plain vanilla site that I love for its section on calculators and converters. (Want to know what time it is in Alaska or Japan? Or calculate compound interest? Or the Roman numeral for 2022?) The Online Tools section is a big help, where you can create a calendar, use a password generator or even convert speech to text.
I’ve always been fascinated with the U.S. Library of Congress, and its website, LOC.gov, which is a popular Q&A site (No. 17 on the Aelieve rankings). In the Ask a Librarian section, you can browse frequently asked and general questions or send a request to a specialist on any number of topics including business, law, science, genealogy and local history, technical reports and more. The site says your question will be answered within five business days (and an online chat option is available from noon to 4 p.m.).
I’m not ashamed to say that most of what’s at Wolframalpha.com was over my head – make that WAY over. But I can certainly see value for those inclined toward math and science. I can, however, relate to much in the Society & Culture and Everyday Life sections.
Here, you can find information about specific movies, TV shows, artwork, music and more. My favorite is how to convert kitchen measurements, calculate simple percentages and even solve math word problems.
Now on to those promised podcasts – with a confession. I’m a looker, not a listener. I doubt my car radio has been turned on in a decade. If you ever catch me with an audiobook, start unzipping the body bag – I’m ready.
But clearly, I’m in the minority. In fact, 22% of the U.S. population listens to podcasts every week, subscribing to an average of six shows and spending an average of six hours and 37 minutes tuning in, according to Musicoomph.
So, I checked out some of the
“best of” business podcasts, picking a few that sound worthwhile. I’ll start with Omas Zenhom’s award-winning weekday “The $100 MBA Show” (Apple Podcasts) that purports to offer practical, real-world business lessons. A recent topic? “The Great Resignation and What It Means for Your Business.”
Another popular podcast, hosted by John Dumas, is the daily Entrepreneurs on Fire (Eofire.com). Guests such as Tony Robbins, Seth Godin and other top leaders and entrepreneurs, focus on achieving business growth and financial freedom. Recent topics include how to start a podcast, goal-setting/achieving and the best business books of the year.
Here’s another – Mixergy.com. Hosted by founder Andrew Warner, the primary purpose is providing tips and strategies to help business owners face challenges that might crop up in the future. Sample topics are Building a Startup to Sell and an explanation of product lifecycle management.
Need more? Google “best business podcasts” and you’ll find dozens from which to choose.