Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Power of Collective Intelligence - Thought of the Day

"All of us are smarter than any one of us."

Japanese Proverb

Traditional research, Before the Internet (BI), was often best accomplished by someone who had a wide net of contacts to poll about the topic under investigation. Chip can tell you that companies spend millions of dollars developing managed panels of highly selected individuals to help divine the wisdom of the whole from a small, yet statistically significant, number of individual panel members.

The Internet has begun to disintermediate the stronghold that managed panel and market research companies have on helping companies uncover trends within their target markets. The collaborative power of the Internet and ravenous passion for products, politics and past times that the world of Social Media has brought from the underground to the foreground has made the process of doing primary research virtually effortless by traditional standards.

I am a particularly big fan of social answers networks. I previously wrote about the power of some of the social answer networks (link) the Internet (e.g.,, and talked about how we have used these tools at home to facilitate the age old problem that “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.”

If you have a pressing issue or question that is perplexing you, I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and try one or all of the aforementioned answer networks. I believe that you will be astounded by the sheer horsepower of the collective network.

A few tips before you get started:
  • LinkedIn is best for business questions
  • Yahoo! is better for personal issues
  • Be very specific about your question. Questions that can be objectively answered get far more responses than open-ended ones.
TOTD has most recently been very focused on the changing nature of the world of marketing and I strongly feel that increased use of the social answers network by the team will help provide some of the answers to the mind-bending issues that we are facing in the marketplace.

Make it a great Wednesday,


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