How do you find out anything today? It used to be that I’d phone a friend. I might still do that and I think there’s three things I do before that…
Mostly, I head to either Google or Wikipedia.
If it’s general background or history I head to Wikipedia. Well researched, good detail, easy to find. Love it!
If it’s more specific or more current, I go to Google. Again love it!
3 Social Networking
And, if you can’t find it there, go to social networking sites…
If you want a specific answer about some thing specific you can get an immediate answer. Unless I have one person to ring who definitely knows the answer, I find it better to go to social networks because then 100 people may read my request and respond. What’s really cool is that some times the person that responds is some one I don’t even know! Brilliant!
Alternatively, social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can let you create your own research and find out market research type answers to your question.
For instance, I’m researching reading habits at the moment as part of a re-launch of Book Rapper. I want to know:
How long does it take the average reader to read a 250 page book?
It takes me about 4-6 hours to read a 250 page book. Yes, this varies, sometimes I’m quicker. Rarely slower.
So, I posted a poll on Facebook…
I posted a series of tweets on Twitter… For example: @Book Rapper Reading habits research: How long does it take you to read a 250 page book? Vote now! geoffmc.com/wfvpkV
I posted a poll on LinkedIn… http://linkd.in/xbsD40 (I had to change the poll slightly on Linked In because it only allowed 5 responses.)
And, I’ve written this blog post about it too! So you can even answer directly here. This is the poll from LinkedIn embedded into this blog post:
Whilst the opportunity is to use social networking as a means to research, the lesson is that you can only do this if you’ve already invested time in building up your social network! Remember, we make friends when we don’t need them, so they can be there when we do.
PS: If you like this post, take a moment to vote on your answer: How long does it take you to read a 250 page book? Thanks!