Interview With Factbrowser
In case you hadn't heard, there's a new research and discovery engine in town that's making quality content creation a whole lot easier. Factbrowser, a "research and discovery engine" is like a mini-search engine for statistics on social media, marketing, blogs, technology and more - but all results are reputable and recent. Finding statistics that you can trust that are fresh enough to add real value to your content is tough, and Factbrowser has done the majority of the work for us. We were able to score a few minutes with Dave Simard, the co-founder to chat about the state of credible statistics in our era of information overload:
1. Why Did You Decide to Start Factbrowser?
Factbrowser was founded by a software developer and a strategy consultant. Though we approach research from different angles, we built Factbrowser because we both believed that there is a huge opportunity to transform how consumers of research connect with research and researchers:
There's a massive amount of free research on the web, but finding it can be difficult and tedious
As the volume of research goes up, the quality tends to go down--and evaluating the credibility of research and researchers is difficult
Some of the incumbent research "aggregators" have some very bad habits. Some don't even attribute the research to its original source. And when they do, they don't link to the original study or report.
We think it should be easy to find and select credible research and researchers, and we're tired of seeing researchers exploited by intermediaries.
So, while we're just getting started, we're building Factbrowser to help students, marketers, analysts, consultants, journalists, and anyone else that needs facts and stats make better decisions while saving time and money.
2. How Has Response Been Among Content Creators and Marketers?
We launched in late March 2012. We've been absolutely stunned by the response so far. Originally we thought Factbrowser would be used primarily by consumers of content. But we've also found that content creators (especially inbound marketers!) are finding it helpful for creating blogs, ebooks, white papers, and presentations.
Here are a few of the nicest things people have said about us
— Deirdre Breakenridge (@dbreakenridge) August 3, 2012
— Andrew Ball (@Andrew_chazb) July 12, 2012
— HubSpot (@HubSpot) June 19, 2012
Need to research a topic for your next white paper or presentation? factbrowser.com is an awesome resource.
— Julia Stewart (@MasteryCoach) June 19, 2012
3. Do You Have Plans to Branch Out from Marketing, Technology and Social Media?
Absolutely. We're continuously building our network of sources, which expands our topical coverage. As we get to "critical mass" in new topical areas, we'll start to promote the content more heavily. And we'd love to hear "what's missing" from Factbrowser. Let us know!
4. What is Your Criteria for a Great Statistic?
We think a great stat has a few characteristics:
Clarity - It's essential to be clear about details like the time period and subject for a stat. Who or what does it applies to? In a specific country, a region, or globally?
Credibility - A good stat is derived from sound research methodologies and is as bias-free as possible. There are many ways to evaluate the credibility of research and researchers; we shared some ideas in this guest post at ProBlogger. But we're also working on making it easier for Factbrowsers to evaluate research right on the site itself.
Attribution - Every stat should be clearly attributed to its original source, and a link to that source should be provided wherever possible. We definitely view it as part of our mission to elevate the visibility of great research and researchers and to give people better tools for finding and using great research.
5. Where do You See Factbrowser in 5 Years?
We hope Factbrowser becomes an indispensable resource for anyone who needs to find and select research and researchers, and a great way for content creators to reach content consumers!
Feeling curious about Factbrowser after hearing from Dave (pictured right)? Check out the extraordinary research and discovery engine at www.factbrowser.com or @Factbrowser. For a previous installment of our Expert Insight series, see our interview with the co-founders of niche content curation network Gentlemint.