Today You Have To Research Your Research
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Today You Have to Research Your Research

Here’s the deal… I was up until about 4 this morning doing some research on a couple of different topics for my business. I entered a forum looking for some insight and instead all I found was negativity.

There were some positive statements and information that I was able to dig out, but it was several pages and responses into the discussion. It was kind of annoying. I do a good amount of research in everything that I do and it comes from different sources. It’s getting pretty hard out there to find accurate and dare I say...factual information for research in forums.

Research...Research...More Research

I have a business coaching and consulting business that I run and I have to tell you that research is important. Whether you have an online business, a home based business or even a standard brick and mortar business, research can separate you from competition. Here is the most alarming part of research. It’s all going online.

There is no lack of information out there to find the answer to a question or concern. I remember my parents had me look through encyclopedias to find information. Like, the really heavy book ones that weighed 50 pounds each. Before the internet. Libraries were popular to go to back then as well. I enjoyed going to the library and so did many people back then. It was a healthy curiosity that got me interested in books.

I had my own library card and everything! Those were the days! Did you know that only 2% of people in the United States actively use their library card? Some people might say, “That’s because there’s Amazon and handheld gadgets that make it more convenient to buy the book really cheap and just keep it.” Yeah yeah, I know. Here’s my point… 6% of the population of the United States believe that Elvis is still alive!

This is when I feel like I’m losing brain cells! Anyways, I’ve digressed.

Just “Google” It

Probably the only business/company that has a name that went from a noun to becoming a verb as well. Even cities want to be named Google. Now, I have nothing against Google. They cornered a market and expanded into a global wrecking ball that knocks all competitors out of its way. No problem with that.

Here’s my deal...We no longer do research. We let Google do the heavy lifting for us and accept the search results as the gospel. Google has implemented strategies to protect the validity of your search as best they can, but there is still something missing. Over Thanksgiving my dad and I were talking about the age of an athlete. We didn’t know what it was, so we “Googled” it and the results came up.

It was kind of creepy though. They had his picture and his birthdate. Then they had his hometown and his stats and blah blah blah. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, but let me tell you my issue. I go to forums to do some research because I like to feel like I have the entire picture. I do use Google and other research options, but I also want the human touch and interaction with people that have experience with topics that I research. I feel like a forum can offer those opportunities if you can find a good one.

These forums have become breeding grounds for negative nancies. I’m sure that there are forums full of great feedback and opinions that are worth something. I have to say though that many of the forum discussions that I have seen are pretty negative. Maybe there is a reason for this. It could be the topics that I am researching. I get it. Yet, it amazes me to see the seething comments that I see that are way off base and have nothing to do with the topic.

Bringing Me Down…

Many times the negativity makes me question what I am researching. Whether it is home based businesses, business strategies, values, company missions and so on. I don’t mind constructive comments or criticisms because they help bring perspective for my research. Yet, I don’t think it’s a good practice to flippantly throw out negative comments without rhyme or reason. The people that do that seem to be instigators and looking for a fight.

So, the human element that I look for in the forums seems to be a bad way to gain insight. I have come to this conclusion. Yes, there are positive insights, but I don’t have the time nor do I want to invest the time in sifting through the random negativity to come across my golden insight. While they may be entertaining, I think I might just stick to Google and use my other research options more heavily than the forum.

I only bring this up because I like doing research and I believe that the broader the research, the more a topic can be narrowed down. This is not the only way I do research, nor is it my top way. I have to be honest...I just caught up in the random comments and I wanted to see where they led to. NOWHERE! They just continued to pile on top of each other for the final and most negative word. That’s the danger in negativity.

There is no end and the most negative will only have a brief moment of superiority before another can overtake the negativity of another. Anyways, I feel better now. Thanks for reading my rant.

I would like to know what you think. Have you found any forums that have great discussions with constructive criticism mostly? I know it’s impossible to stop negative comments, but it is possible to limit them if they are not helpful. What do you think?


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