Job boards. Also, don’t neglect the job boards. Check to see if your company is seeking new employees. What kinds of positions are available? How many positions are they looking for? Does this indicate an expansion or simply a need to fill a position that someone left? Can you determine why that position needs to be filled, if applicable?
Company websites. Company and corporate websites can provide essential information. It is a great time to not only gather the information, but to gauge the overall feel of the company. It is not only a great place to find basics you can also find a lot of other information like product specs, etc. Sign up for the newsletter if they have one.
Other websites. You can also find information for competitive intelligence on other websites such as government sites, trade sites, corporate sites, etc. The objective here is to gain information on trends and products about the industry and not necessarily a specific competitor.
Information gateways. Certain sites are designed to function as an information gateway. These types of sites offer listings for different websites and categorize them so you can find information quickly.
Newsgroups. Newsgroups are similar to forums. You can post a question and wait for replies. To use them, you can either post questions or search to find information. There are different groups for different subjects so find the ones that are appropriate. One word of caution- The quality of information may not be up to par so you may need to do additional research to verify.
Forums. Forums are similar to newsgroups. Unlike newsgroups they are often attached to websites. You can use them the same way you would use a newsgroup.
Blogs. Blogs are a great way to get information about the competition. Blogs are online diaries. There are free services that allow you to have your own blog, so there are a lot of people who have these online diaries. Both individuals and businesses currently have them so you can obtain a range of information from using them. They usually show up in search engines and through blog directories. You can get company information, customer experience anecdotes, trends, market news, etc.