Students are keen to make notes when studying and to highlight key words and phrases in their text books. Visit any school or university and you will find students in every class using highlighter pens, underlining sections of text and writing summaries of what they have just read.
The commonly-held view amongst teachers and students alike is that these study techniques aid memory and help people learn their subject well. But it is a view – that is all. It is not necessarily proven fact.
And actually, in a comprehensive review of study techniques these commonly-used ideas to help students learn have been shown to be, frankly, rubbish. Prior to this research there appears to have been a widely-held assumption that these study techniques were worthwhile. And that’s probably because they do help some people.
But they do not help these people anywhere near as much as other study techniques. (If you are wondering, the best study technique is to read something then test yourself on it shortly afterwards and do the same again a few days later and a few days after that – and so on.)
This research is an all-too-familiar example of something which is “accepted practice” being put under the spotlight for the first time only to discover that what everyone thought was the right thing to do actually turns out to be rather negative and that an alternative is better.
Throughout the world of Internet Marketing we see all sorts of commonly-held beliefs with people quoting the “mantra” that this works, or that something else is essential or that you should never do a particular activity. The problem with many of these beliefs is that they are just that – what people believe to be true. Yet there is often no evidence to support them other than “they work”.
In the studying research, highlighting does work, but repeated testing using flashcards, for instance, is far superior.
So just because an Internet Marketing technique works does not mean you should do it automatically – there may well be a better alternative.
Essentially you need to be constantly vigilant for new techniques and put everything to the test. Don’t just do what other Internet Marketers do; do what works – and the only way to find that out is to conduct constant testing and review.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+