One of our lawyers alerted us to www.zoominfo.com – it describes itself modestly:
"the premier summarization search engine, delivers fresh, comprehensive information on over 31 million business professionals and 2 million companies across virtually every industry".
Try checking out a few names – the results are quite amazing. Before you rely on the information, however, review the information retrieved for people you know well. When I decided to take a few minutes (rather than a few seconds) to review the results, I was still amazed, but also concerned. Information showed up on my search that seemed very questionable and probably out of date.
Running these searches reminded me of how easy it is to be seduced by the power of search. After all these years, there is still some "magic" to running a search and getting results (instead of that depressing "zero results for your search" screen). As more and more time and money are invested in the creation of the "perfect search engine" and truly comprehensive content, where is the quality control?
I saw a posting yesterday that suggested that a U.S. government agency was making use of Wikipedia information. Should we be concerned about this? Is it too late?