She called me while I was out and asked me to call her back in regards to some research she was doing. I thought I would help the lady out with her research and give her a call back.
I quickly learned that this research was to help this individual help her individual client. So in reality, she had a client that had questions. She didn’t know the answers to those questions. She called me and others to get the answers. She then probably billed her client for the time she spent getting those answers.
I was nice, I think. I spent almost 20 minutes on the phone with her, giving her answers. I went through some history, some new examples, etc… Showing her how these things work. She then got more specific and I tried my best to help.
After I was done, she then asked if I knew anyone else who can help her. I said I do. But I felt bad giving out the names of these people because it would not help the masses. I explained… Typically a reporter or researcher will call me or others… They would ask us dozens of questions. We answer to the best of our ability. They write it up and publish the knowledge for everyone to see.
In her case, she is getting all this information and keeping it to herself. I said, if this information would help the masses, then great. But she admitted, it would only be used for her consulting project with this client.
So based on that information, I did not offer any additional people she can ask these questions to. I even suggested she research the wonderful amount of free and educational information available on the web. If she had questions, I told her about discussion forums and how everyone can benefit from the exchange of questions and answers.
Am I wrong for not handing out the names of my peers to this person?
Am I wrong about helping the masses versus just helping an individual profit off her client?