I had an interesting conversation recently about crowd sourcing. This particular Realtor stated that he did not crowdsource anything. In fact, it seemed foolish to him to even ask questions of followers on Twitter for recommendations. I quickly asked if he used Google.
Obviously the answer was yes, and my answer was that he did in fact crowd source if he used Google, and an even bigger issue is that consumers are sourcing their answers to vet yours.
I’ll explain. In the past, we competed on keywords and relevance, and to a degree we still do, what is changing however is the ability to bump those that hold the number one positions for high value search terms to the bottom.
It’s true. We (the user) can now narrow our search to the latest results rather than keyword armed, link held positions. We can determine the age of the information we find most valuable, placing those that blog or dynamically update content front and center.
We can now see not only Wikipedia, but Quora, Flickr, and Twitter in the stream of results, and with a click of the mouse, you can adjust by freshness. In essence, you’re crowdsourcing your search, and depending more and more on consumer-driven content rather than static material designed to residually produce results. Dynamic content will surely win the day (although we advise you trust but verify your search results).
What’s most interesting to us is the fact that Google has incredible insight on its faithful users. One of those sources is your feed reader, and one could derive that from your Google Feed Reader, Google can send you a trusted source as a result, and the same goes for Twitter, Google friends, Gmail, and the like.
Moral of the story? It’s going to pay to be social, and it will pay even more to be blogging, but the bigger money will be on the “latest” articles.
Can you continue on the path of ignoring a social path and remain successful? I suppose that if your clients aren’t on the internet, you’ll be just fine. I’d also posit that it no longer matters if the Realtor crowdsources their business, the better question is “are my clients crowdsourcing my services?”