Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Low-grade curiosity

In researching Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, I spoke with hundreds of people, several dozen of whom I “formally” interviewed. I was surprised at how few asked me how I found them, especially because many of them were not simply a Google away and are probably aware of that. I don’t know if they just didn’t think to ask me, or if they simply didn’t care—but it’d be one of the first questions I'd ask if someone came ‘round to question me (and I didn’t have a blog making the answer obvious).

Perhaps these people were not under-curious. Perhaps I’m just over-curious, preoccupied with sublevels of information that others don’t bother with because they understand that there’s no practical use for that information.

Another example: my massive blog series featuring interviews with and previously unpublished photos of 100 “lost” superhero stars of the ‘70s and ‘80s required lots of hunting…sometimes so deep I couldn’t see two feet behind me.

Yet the kind folks who ultimately helped me reach particularly obscured performers including Garrett Craig
, Larry Marks, and Austin Roberts did not ask me how I knew to ask them. And look at how common those three names are—they are all over the Internet. Plus the people I was asking did not always share the same last name as my quarry. (In other words, I presumed that the people I was asking would realize that I would have had to do more than casual research to make that connection.)

I’m not judging. I’m just different. It’s an occupational perk.

3 comments:

Aaron Poehler said...

It may simply be everyone assumes the answer isn't going to lead anywhere: "Where'd you find me?" "The internet. So anyway..."

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Aaron - possibly. But curiosity is not logical!

Anonymous said...

In this day-in-age of the internet, people forget that it's just a tool to be used the same way as any tool was in doing research in the pre-internet days!

BUT it's not always the best tool, or the first tool to be, or should be,used.

It's like people take imdb and wikipedia as "gospel" and they are often incorrect or incomplete. and sadly,sometimes one "cribs" from the other

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