When it comes to business, you need to use every advantage possible: your industry is competitive, and if you don’t keep up, you will be left behind. However, you also need to think out of the box instead of simply following the latest trends without contributing anything new, and this can mean thinking about using tried-and-true platforms or products in new ways.
Usenet, the internet’s first social network, has remained a juggernaut in internet culture for decades; it is safe and secure thanks to SSL encryption, but it also has a huge wealth of content spanning years and covering every topic imaginable. It’s easy to access through the use of one of the great Usenet providers, as well as quite simple to search through indexers.
You may think of Usenet as simply a social network with hobby articles on a variety of interests, but you may not realize that it can also be a powerful tool for businesses. Today, we’ll discuss four reasons why you should consider leveraging Usenet to help you perform reconnaissance on competitors and get valuable industry insights.
Every industry has its diehards, and Usenet has newsgroups about nearly anything and everything; this means that regardless of your industry, you’re likely to find passionate and opinionated individuals with a lot to say about what’s going on.
By searching for newsgroups related to your industry, you can see what people are really saying, whether they are bemoaning a certain missing feature in an automobile or if they wish that football teams were more interested in their fans.
Of course, the idle speculation of internet users isn’t perfect market research, but it can help to inform your research, backing up their ideas with statistics and resources in order to see whether their suggestions are actionable or not. Gathering different opinions and the perspectives of real-life people is incredibly useful, as it helps you see what people really want or whether they agree with where the industry is heading.
Good business leaders are good networkers who use every resource at their disposal to get in touch with others. For high-end professionals, their focus on work never really shuts off; their passion for the industry doesn’t go away when they get home at the end of the night, and so they will often get into spirited discussions with others in the field, particularly on Usenet.
By reading articles, you can often find great information on those who may be helpful to you, whether that is venture capitalists speculating on their next big investment or key industry players who are thinking about collaborations. Smaller, more intimate newsgroups in the biz.* section can help you talk to others who will have good advice for you, which is particularly helpful for those who are just starting out in the industry and would like advice from seasoned professionals.
Thanks to Usenet’s decentralized nature and great privacy protocols, many people provide a freer discussion than they might otherwise, and this can be incredibly useful if you’d like to gather intel on a competitor. If you search for a competitor’s name or the name of one of their products on Usenet, you may be able to find some great resources on what they are planning to do, whether that is through a current employee or someone who has recently left.
As business heats up, you need to also consider competitive insight, which is a step above competitive intelligence; this refers to trying to think as a competitor does rather than simply assuming they are irrational if they do something that diverges from your own perspective.
By searching through Usenet and seeing the spirited discourse there, you may gain further insight into how your competitor is thinking and what they may do; this could come either from actual employees and directors or it may be speculation from those interested in the industry. You can then use this perspective to spark your own research and, therefore, stay one step ahead of your competitors at all times.
One of the best things about Usenet is that it is a decentralized, mostly unmoderated space where individuals all over the world can freely discuss topics that interest them without fear of censorship.
This can be of great benefit to businesses who want to understand how people feel about their products or services: you want the uncensored truth, whether that is good or bad. Professionally performed market research often has a bias, as people may feel obligated to give good opinions when they are being paid for their time, and it can be difficult to fully anonymize things. On Usenet, conversations are freer and more open, so you can see what those who use your services or products are thinking about.
When you use an indexer to search for your name, you can find incredibly detailed and thoughtful reviews uploaded by users all over the world who have devoted a great deal of time to thinking about the pros and cons of your services and perhaps even providing feedback on how to improve.
Running a business is difficult, especially as you need to stay one step ahead of competitors. By leveraging a unique resource like Usenet, you’ll find yourself better able to predict the actions of others in your industry, getting an “on the ground” look at what they are thinking about; you can also hunt down great reviews about your own products. You need every advantage you can get, and Usenet can be an incredibly valuable one in the long run.