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At school, quite some time ago, I had a friend, Adam, who had a near photographic memory. He was the “go to guy” for all of us and could answer questions on almost anything. Needless to say he passed every exam with flying colours, was very popular, and I was envious.
Then we left school and everything changed. All of a sudden knowing the names of Henry VIII wives wasn’t important. People, relationships and who you know were far more relevant. Adam although excellent in his own way and incredibly knowledgeable, wasn’t good with human traits and empathy.
So what has this got to do with Google? Well Adam and Google have a lot in common. If you want find a needle in the internet haystack then Google is excellent. If you want to find out how others feel about something then it’s very poor.
Enter Social Media search.
What’s my first thought when I want another opinion about something in the offline world, I ask a friend who will know. Where’s a great place to go fishing near where I live? What’s a good off road cycle route for a Sunday ride? Where can I take my Wife for a brilliant meal?
Now I don’t have a huge following on my personal Facebook profile, just a few friends and my family, but if I ask a question on my Facebook page then my friends often pass this to people they know, and I often get a response in minutes. People love to help, it’s a basic human response and it makes us feel good.
I can search for hours on Google and not get anything useful to these sorts of questions because they are opinions and thoughts, not facts. Google really let me down last week, I’ll cover this issue separately, but that got me thinking about alternatives. From now on if it’s appropriate I’ll try social search first.
Why? Because as Adam found out, the world revolves around people. Knowledge is not power, the application of knowledge is, and that requires people.
Twitter and Facebook here I come, what can possibly go wrong!
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