Friday, October 05, 2007

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." - Vince Lombardi

I keep getting stumped with questions that I cannot answer and it frustrates me. I am a guy and, as many women can attest to, guys are better at solving problems than listening.

My girlfriend had some questions about how we should handle certain situations in our life. Being the guy that I am, I immediately started trying to find the “right” answer. When I tried to answer with a positive spin, she would play devil’s advocate and gave me all of the reasons that the negative was more plausible and vice versa. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

This conversation was not going as well as I would have liked, so I went to my fall-back plan – the Internet and the world of Social Media. I suggested that she consider posing these questions to a greater audience and maybe we would gain some wisdom that I/we could not come up with on our own.

She is pretty innovative and open to new ideas and immediately went online to Yahoo! Answers ( and started tapping into the network. Within 30 minutes of asking her first round of questions, she had 16 answers (25% of the answers were very helpful, 50% neutral, and 25% were not helpful.) After reviewing the answers to the first question, she realized that she needed to refine her question so as to dig deeper into the wisdom of this community of answers. The answers she received helped us come up with a mutually agreeable plan of action and ultimately saved us hundreds of dollars in counseling fees – LOL.

Of course, Yahoo! Answers isn’t an infallible source of infinite wisdom. But, as Vince Lombardi says, a group effort usually leads to better, and more well-rounded, results. And Yahoo! Answers opens you up to a pretty large group.

I told Bill Abele about this experience and he said that he was going home that night to try it out; he was hooked.

The beauty of social media is that the tools are right at our fingertips. We just need to be aware of them and their potential applications and be willing to experiment with them to help create outstanding results.

If you have a question that you can’t answer, consider tapping into the power of the Internet. If you can’t figure out where to go with it, give me a call, and I will help you out.

Have a great Friday,


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