Search it in the library, ask the librarian (or ask everyone)?

I’m not that old (or maybe I am) but when I started to study, I was annoyed that they were making us take computer classes because I was convinced that I would never need to use a computer in my work life. This might be why a lot of my analogies that help me understand the world are still pre-computer and definitely pre-internet.

I’ve experienced again that the best way to find something or to find something out, is to ask someone who knows more about it than you do. Because a library (and even more so the internet) is a place where thousands and thousands of sources of information sit next to each other on shelves, not really indicating which ones are crucial. But if you walk up to the librarian, or ask the jellyfish expert (if that’s what you’re interested in) they’ll point you to the bible of jellyfishology and provide a structure to the overwhelming magnitude of jellyfish literature.

Now with the internet, this gets a new twist, because you can go out and ask everyone – or at least a sample of everyone, pre-selected by “who reads your blog”. So that’s like going to the library and while everyone is tiptoeing and wispering and bent over their books, you yell into the room: “DOES ANYONE KNOW WHICH ONE IS THE BEST BOOK ABOUT JELLYFISH?” Good thing though, they won’t kick you out of the internet for doing this (while they would most likely ask you kindly to leave the library).

What does that mean? You don’t know yet, who the experts are, they self select by reading your question and choosing to answer, you might not necessarily reach the “official” experts on something who have a title and reputation attached to their name and you might get some weirdo answers of people with a strange cause or plain old spammers. But, chances are, you get your answer. So, as to my question, who talked on TED about the fact that our profession is change, the answer is: Seth Godin

And I was wowed again when I listened to it the second time. Thanks for explaining to me what I do. And thanks Gauri for hearing me yell in the library…

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