The above claim is gleaned from Wave II of the IT Social Media Index put together by, go figure, ITtoolbox (an IT-oriented social networking site) and PJA Advertising + Marketing. Read a quick synopsis of what they've got to say before calling BS.The study finds: * Social media information sources, like topic-based communities (Anandtech, anybody?), blogs, mash-ups and discussion groups, are gleaned more than 3.7 hours a week by IT execs * Personal networks and topic-based networks are considered the most important social media resources in the final evaluation stages preceding a purchase Cast away ghoulish thoughts of your webmaster lurking Facebook. Sounds like our user-generated info-dependence stems from resources we perceived to be sound, long before web 2.0 filled our tubes with swill. Said resources include niche forums, product reviews, blogs like CMSWire*, that kind of thing. Since Wave I of the survey, IT decision-makers and "influencers" are revealed to place major trust in user-generated content when making purchasing decisions. (This in opposition to, say, listening to what companies have to say about their own offerings.) More meat: * IT decision-makers consumer more social media than traditional online editorial media or vendor information (like press releases) * These same people consider online networks to be "trusted extensions" of their personal networks * Search has proven the most crucial activity in the early stages of purchasing a product (sounds like a calling card for an SEO consultant) * Topic-based communities are considered the most important sources of info through all stages of the technology purchasing process -- but they become especially crucial in the final evaluation stages The survey was distributed to members of ITtoolbox. About 4400 IT and business professionals responded. These included C-level IT pros, analysts, admins, developers and business managers. The survey is conducted biannually, but ITtoolbox and PJA may move on to conduct quarterly analyses of the Index. Download a copy of Wave II of the Social Media Index. --- * You know we had to stick that in somewhere.