It's exciting to meet new friends who also has a passion for English like you. Please send me a message if you want to add me. I will only accept friend request to those who has sent me a private message. You can check out more about me at my websites: EdithChanDesign.com ; Or Facebook page: www.facebook.com/edithchandesign
October 23, 2009
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Before moving to the States, I used to ask for advice from people who are more experienced and knowledgeable than I am, like my parents, teachers, friends, or even friends of friends. Back in the old days, word of mouth was the most popular method of getting information and advice, which implies that the most efficient way of getting information is to know the right person or the right circle of people. For instance, you want to buy a new computer, but your computer knowledge is basically next to zero. What will you do to make sure you will make the best choice? Before internet came to the earth, people would either ask around for advice, or choose to take the salesmen’s recommendation. Fortunately, today you don’t have to be a computer freak or a friend of a computer genius in order to make an informed decision, because you can always do research and get advice online. My first experience in asking advice online happened when I was preparing to buy a laptop for my graphic design classes half a year ago. Given a limited budget, I struggled between buying a Mac book, which is reliable yet extremely costly, and a PC, which is more affordable but less popular in the design industry. I had always preferred getting advice from people I know, but at that moment I decided to give getting advice online a shot because nobody I knew was able to help me. Surprisingly, in just one day, I got over 50 responses from professional graphic designers in Washington State through Creative Profession Online Community. The responses were very helpful, some of which even outlined in detail about the pros and cons of a Mac and a PC. That is the beauty of an online community. Simply by connecting to the internet, you can get advice from people all over the world 24/7.
“It is not what you know, but whom you know.” Joining a community can be difficult if you don’t meet specific requirements or don’t know somebody already in the group. However, everybody is equal when it comes to an online community. You don’t need to be an executive of a big company, a professional, or a stunning young single girl in order to join an online community. Of course there are always exceptions out there, but most cases, everybody is welcome to participate and get advice. People always say that law is only for rich people who can afford a lawyer. In reality, I have no way to afford legal advice because I don’t have the money and I don’t know any lawyer either. However, through an online community, I am benefit from getting free legal advice from professional lawyers who are charging $300 per hour for a consultation.
Another reason I like getting advice from online communities is that the advice is always less subjective. The people I have met online don’t know me in person, hence there is no conflict of interest involved and their advice is always honest and straight forward. A conflict of interest can affect what advice you are going to get from somebody you know. I experienced a situation where my friend recommended me to visit a horrible dentist just for a 25-dollar referral gift card. Isn’t it sad?
Today, word of mouth is no longer my first choice of getting advice. Whenever I encounter a new problem that is out of my knowledge, I will do research online and make sure I get all the necessary information to make the most appropriate decision. Thanks to the evolution of online community, a girl like me who is starting a new life in a foreign country will not feel helpless and panic when facing new problems.
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