Grassroots Competitive Intelligence

In a recent Fast Company poll, 52% of FC Now readers surveyed indicated that they go online for answers. That’s more than twice of those who turn to colleagues. Seems we Google before we engage coworkers!

Turning to the Web for competitive intelligence is nothing new. But a new wave of online research options — including ones in which people offer to find the answers for you (think an answer market) — offers new opportunities for finding solutions to problems… online.

Today’s New York Times considers several, including Google Answers, Ingenio, Wondir, and even Keen.

Have you used any of these services? How useful was the information received?

Update: In the Journal (subscription required), David Wessel suggests that better information isn’t always beneficial.