Search Brainstorming

This seems so obvious in retrospect that I’m sure someone else has already thought of it. I just don’t know what they call it.

I call it “search brainstorming”.

This is when I’m trying to put something together, like a project plan, a proposal, or a talk. Whatever it is heavily involves an internet search. What I’ll typically do is punch in a google search in Firefox, and then scroll through the results. As I see something I think is useful, I open it in a new tab, and keep going with the search results. Once I’ve exhausted the search results, I turn to my newly-opened tabs.

I read through each tab. As I find things that interest me, I add them to my Google Notebook. I close each tab as I finish with it, as the notebook saves the URL with each clip. Then, I go through and prune the notebook.

I call it “brainstorming” because to me, it seems so analogous to normal brainstorming. I let google generate a rush of ideas. Some of them are clearly not what I’m looking for, so I ignore them. The rest, however, may or may not be of use to me. I can’t tell until later. Therefore, I investigate all of them, adding what might be useful information to a list (notebook), trying not to really evaluate the content. The key ideas are generation and collection. I don’t want evaluation to hamper them — it comes later.

Is there another name for this?

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