I remember back when I was in college (well for the little bit of time that I was there to complete a short course), we were told not to use Wikipedia as a source for the information we’d want to include in our research. That was with good reason though because at the time Wikipedia was still going through somewhat of a teething phase and a lot of the information was only half-reliable at best.
Nowadays of course Wikipedia is a great source for some reliable information, even though the accuracy of the info is ultimately governed by somewhat of a public jury which eventually gets it right by way of weeding out incorrect inaccuracies. It’s definitely not immune to content which is geared more towards marketing however, but for the most part Wikipedia is now as reliable as information sources come.
The fact that I could make the transition through different views of first not trusting Wikipedia too much and then going on to trust it perhaps speaks to a depiction of a little bit of objectivity, and that’s what’s required if you want to extract true value out of information you find online. Online guides of different types in particular are ordinarily intended to deliver information that is of value, but there will naturally be something in it for whoever it is who is sharing that information.
Keep that in mind and you’ll always be able to extract true value out of any of the online guides you come across when you’re looking for specific information. It has to be a win-win situation otherwise the information you’d be looking at will likely not be all that valuable, unless of course it’s one of those rare cases in which someone just seeks to gain some authority in a particular niche.
That’s all you need to do – you need to understand that as much as you’re indicatively obtaining information for free, for it to be of any real value whoever is giving you that information also has to gain something out of it. That’s why for example, if you are a gambler you can count on something like an online casino guide to give you the right information because the trade-off is a tangible one.
You’d be getting information on some online casino sites you can sign up to and get a free bonus and other promotional perks for example, while the person sharing that information as the site or blog owner perhaps gets a small commission for referring new members.
Otherwise there’s a more direct way of essentially buying the information you come across online, such as the many e-books which are available on the likes of Amazon.
Finally, another way for publishers who share valuable information online through their guides to get something in return is through selling advertising.
Either way, the value is often gauged by how much of a mutually beneficial arrangement the information-sharing is.