I had planned taking today off, but as I’m up to my neck in work I decided to spend it in the office instead. Result (don’t mess with yourself when you promise yourself time off): I’ve spent most of my morning down the blog-hole — reading a ton of interesting things online, particularly on Penelope Trunk’s blog. (Yeah, I know not everybody likes her, but I do. More on that another day, maybe.)
So, as I was reading blogs, sharing snippets on Tumblr and links on Twitter, I was thinking to myself: actually, one thing I’m pretty good at (and love doing) is finding and reading interesting stuff, thinking about it, and sharing all that with other people. (For those of you familiar with StrengthsFinder: my #1 is Input and my #2 is Communication — more about that another day, too.)
I pinged Suw on IM to see if she had any ideas how to “monetize” (still hate the word) this kind of activity. She suggested working as a researcher.
I like the idea. Need your homework done on something? I love learning about new stuff, I know how to search online, I have a great network, I’m smart (let’s say it), and I know how to write stuff up. Think of it, a lot of my popular blog posts are the result of me taking the plunge into a topic, learning about it, and reporting back. And for anything related to social media, I have the huge advantage of already knowing a lot.
This doesn’t mean I’d be giving up my current activities. But I’m getting increasingly frustrated that I don’t have time anymore to fool around online, research stuff, read more books, learn about this space we inhabit — online and offline.
Do you know anybody who works as an online researcher? Would you hire me as a researcher? (Not asking if you need my services as of now, but more “do you think I have the profile?”) If I decide to provide this kind of service, how might I go about to (a) decide what to charge (b) find gigs?
This is a very fresh idea for me, and I’d gladly welcome any thoughts you may have on the subject. As for me, I’m off to do some research on… freelance researchers :-).