19 Sep 2011

I'm just browsing thanks

Don't you just hate those pushy shopfloor sales people? Always right in your face asking if they can help you find something particular. All fine and well if you know exactly what it is you're looking for (clue: if I did I'd have bought it online already). What's wrong with just letting me browse aimlessly for a while?

Which is why this article on Mashable (via the ever-reliable http://www.brainpickings.org/) resonated so much with me. I quote:
Browsing is a crucial component of information discovery; it allows an information seeker to expand organically upon an initial vague, often unarticulated need.
And this is even more important in the online environment where search is so specific. Search assumes you know what you're looking for and takes you straight there. But there's a lot to be said for the random connections you make when you allow yourself a little more time to browse whether online or off.

Next time you're looking for a solution to a problem, don't just go straight to the first answer your search gives you, set aside five minutes to browse aimlessly, look/click a little further and a little more randomly and see where it takes your thoughts. I promise you'll be surprised at what you find. (one of my favourite ways to find unexpected connections is the excellent http://www.stumbleupon.com/ )

First published at http://ftmf.info/ .