How do I discover new things, new places and new ideas? An approach I take is the approach I’ve used ever since I was a child – I ask people and I eaves-drop on conversations.  And on the Social Web this approach can be even more useful as there are more people I can ask and more conversations I can listen to.

I’ve produced a slideshow with a 9 minute 25 second accompanying audio track which is available on Slideshare and is embedded below explaining why I feel that the social aspect of resource discovery is under-rated.

I should probably have added in the talk that when I publish peer-reviewed presentations the literature search and use of more formal resource discovery services does take place – however this tends to be done by one of the co-authors (David Sloan in the case of my accessibility papers).   Which I think illustrates another example of the social aspect of resource discovery – you have a co-author who is happy using traditional library-based resource discovery tools, while you another co-author focus on the social aspects to discovery.  Just as social Web tools need not be to every researcher’s taste, so the more formal approaches do not have to be used by every researcher.