Here’s why relying on the internet will damage your business.

Is your team serving up misinformation, opinions and speculation?

As leaders in helping organizations build industry expertise, we’ve had many discussions with clients about providing their professionals with timely, accurate and relevant industry information. Not surprisingly, more than a few of our clients have said,

“Isn’t that what the internet is for?” or  “Our people just do an internet search to get the information they need.”

No, that’s not what the internet is for. Internet searches provide millions of results with little guidance on the accuracy or relevance of the information provided. A few years ago, I heard someone describe the internet as “an information landfill.”  The information you need is out there…somewhere. But it’s buried under piles of misinformation, opinions and speculation.

How do You Separate Treasure from Trash?

Sorting through the information landfill is difficult and time-consuming. One of our Fortune 500 clients did a study and found their sales professionals were spending more than 50% of their time looking for industry information. That’s 50% less time with clients!

Do you want your professionals to spend valuable time sifting through search results to get the information they need? Perhaps more importantly,

  • Are your professionals getting the right information?
  • Is it correct?
  • Is it biased?
  • When was it last updated?
  • Is the information presented with the perspective your professionals need?

Garbage In = Garbage Out

Wikipedia may be a step up from internet search results, but it’s not the answer either. Wikipedia relies on volunteers to provide content, some of whom are more qualified than others. There’s no mandate on Wikipedia to delete stale content and keep information current. It’s certainly not comprehensive. It goes deeper into topics that some volunteers think are more important, but there’s no overall guidance on what should be included.

“Vandalism” on Wikipedia is also a challenge, as some parties edit the content to be disruptive or malicious. And Wikipedia is certainly not designed to meet the specific needs of businesses and other organizations with professionals who require the most accurate information to understand their clients and specific industries better.

Industry IQ is not built on the internet.

The answer we give clients that are trying to build their professionals’ industry IQ is content curation. This requires gathering and updating information to provide users with the information they need when they need it. Perpetual content curation enhances traditional learning channels by providing the most up-to-date information in the right context.

Today, there are a lot of vendors (and internal IT teams) promoting content curation capabilities. As good as these capabilities may be, most of these providers focus on the technology behind delivering content to users, not the content itself.

You know what happens when you assume.

Many providers assume the content feeding their platforms will be relevant and reliable, but that’s a huge assumption. Content curation tools are only as good as the content feeding them. If you provide your professionals with inaccurate, stale or irrelevant information in an intuitive, easy-to-use format, are you actually providing any value?

The content you provide needs to be correct, timely and comprehensive. It must meet the needs of your professionals. As a result, you have to ensure content is curated by dependable, authoritative resources.

Be Part of the Solution, Not the Pollution!

Some organizations turn to internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to curate industry content, but that’s a huge undertaking. Most internal SMEs don’t have the time (or the resources) to constantly maintain industry content. They’re too busy supporting other internal, industry-focused initiatives.

The alternative is to turn to a trustworthy, reputable and dedicated third party. An organization focused on ensuring your industry content is comprehensive, up-to-date and relevant to your professionals.

Providing your busy professionals with the content they need in today’s fast-paced world is critical to your organization’s long-term success. Ensuring it is relevant, accurate and current goes a long way in ensuring this success.

How do YOU curate content?

Let us know! Feel free to share additional tips for curating content in the comments section below.

Looking for relevant, constantly updated curated industry content?

PSI offers a solution that fits the bill. Industry content curation is a core part of our client offering!

We are a reputable and dedicated organization that can provide your professionals with comprehensive curated content that’s so fresh it still has that new information smell.

Our industry wikis are:

  • Powered by experts who are active in the industry.
  • Designed from a business perspective
  • Focused on the content professionals in consulting, sales, finance, technology and other fields find most important when supporting their clients.

We sort through the “internet landfill” and identify the information “treasures” your professionals need.

PSI’s wikis include content our SMEs have curated over years of interacting with many of the world’s leading consulting firms, technology companies and financial institutions. And our content is constantly updated, edited and expanded to ensure users have access to the most accurate and appropriate industry information.

Find out more here.

About the Author

David Tompkins is the Chief Content Officer for Performance Solutions International (PSI). He has spent over 30 years providing training and consulting services for the financial services, insurance, health care, technology, telecom and media industries.

Performance Solutions International

PSI is the leading provider of industry-focused training, custom learning solutions, and learning consulting services to empower your professionals with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment.