The good news is that whatever information you’re looking for is probably out there somewhere. The challenge is finding it in the constantly growing mass of data being accumulated. As a result, we spend a lot of time searching for information – the right data point, the certain perspective on a topic, a specific report, or some collection of ideas.
Google and other search engines help tremendously, as does the ability to engage our various social networks for help. Still, with a growing volume of information, and an increasing need for particular nuance in what we need to find, the process can be daunting. It can feel like we waste a lot of time on the search. It’s frustrating. After all, we can’t even begin our work until we have the information to apply, analyze, or distribute.
Or, is the search part of the work?
Maybe the skills needed today also include the ability to find relevant information quickly – to have good sources and the skills to leverage them effectively. Maybe, then, it would be a good idea to learn the nuances of leveraging search engines and other public tools most effectively. Maybe time spent curating and cultivating social networks around your area of expertise is critical to producing good work. Maybe the work is actually mostly done when you’ve found the information that was needed – maybe the digestion, analysis, and distribution of that information is actually the easy part.