Recently the Intellogist crew has been pondering social media with relation to what we (and you, gentle reader) do for a living: searching and analyzing patent data. Everyone who maintains a professional social media presence knows that the obvious end game is to show your expertise by participating in the community, thus building relationships and ultimately, dare I say it, opening a few more doors for yourself in the process. What’s beautiful about the social media world, however, is that when real dialogue happens among the participants, everyone benefits from the record of shared knowledge that is left behind. And for patent searchers, this is crucial to the survival and growth of our profession.
I recently have had productive exchanges on this point with several other searchers. They all pointed out that the profession of patent searching seems to be in a transitional phase, where in-house searchers were being phased out and overseas vendors were becoming more prevalent. Now, I happen to believe that no matter the relationship between searcher and search requester, as long as there is excellent communication between the two parties, good search service can always be provided. But there is a deeper point here I want to focus on: no matter what you do, whether you are an in-house patent searcher, an individual contractor or a part of a larger search business, communicating your value to your search recipients should always be a major priority for you.
Patent searching is difficult stuff, and the more effectively we can communicate that to our customers, the more our profession will be valued. The age of Google is here, and as the information world has exploded in complexity, the general perception of professional searchers has become less positive. “Oh, it’s easy,” people tend to think. “I’ll just put these search terms in Google Patents or Google Scholar and that’s all there is to it.” I strongly believe that we need to utilize every channel (including social media) to turn this perception around. As evidenced by the fact that Intellogist maintains an active blog and bustling wiki platform packed with relevant articles, this stuff is not easy – and the more we talk about it, the more people will realize that qualified prior art searchers aren’t a luxury – they are a necessity.
With that said, here’s an update on the state of our project to grow the Intellogist community, garner more repeat visits, and create more involvement within our registered user base. If you have not been following this update series you can quickly get up to speed by reading our first post, A Call to Action, and our most recent weekly update, Battle of the Patent Search Systems – Part II.
For the previous week, March 19th through March 25th:
- We had 1,218 visits from 998 visitors. In the previous week we had 1,192 visits from 1,031 visitors. Our goal is to increase our traffic to 5,200 visits per month.
- We had 435 visits from returning visitors. In the previous week, we had 419 such visits. Our goal is to achieve 2,560 return visits per month.
- We did not have any user contributions to the wiki sections of Intellogist this week. If you’d like to contribute your expertise to Intellogist, please visit the Best Practices, Community Reports, or Glossary sections to add new pages or edit existing pages. Our goal is to have 50 additional user contributions to the wiki sections of Intellogist by the end of our six-month challenge.
- Although we don’t have set goals for discussion forum activity, I wanted to point out that our users have been contributing to an interesting discussion on the confidentiality of searches run through vendor databases – check it out and log in to Intellogist to add your own expertise!
- We did not have any votes on our Ratings pages this week for PatBase, QPAT, TotalPatent, or Thomson Innovation. The current totals in the Overall Rating category are:
- 37 votes on PatBase (0 new votes since last week)
- 21 votes on QPAT (0 new votes since last week)
- 19 votes on Thomson Innovation (0 new votes since last week)
- 22 votes on TotalPatent (0 new votes since last week)
Ratings are completely anonymous, and only take a moment to add once you are logged in to Intellogist. We are getting closer to our goal of having 100 ratings, in the Overall Rating category, for each of these systems but we still need your help. If you use one, or all, of these systems, please cast your vote today!
- We had 25 new users register on Intellogist. What follows is a sampling of members from our global community. To see the entire list of members, visit our Community Page:
If you haven’t done so yet, join Intellogist today, get involved, and discover what a worldwide patent community can do for you.
This post was contributed by Intellogist team member Kristin Whitman.