The word “expert” gets bandied about quite a lot when people are talking about blogging and I haven’t quite decided if that’s a good thing or a bad thing yet.
I find the whole concept of “experts” a little alarming, so today, instead of teaching you about some neat, new blogging trick, I’m just going to share some of my thoughts about experts in the blogosphere.
Feel free to nap if you’d like. I’ll wake you when it’s over.
One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Expert
One reason I’m uncomfortable when someone labels me an expert is because it’s a relative term. It means different things to different people and I’m afraid to accept the title of “Expert” for fear I’ll meet someone who’s more expert than me and they’ll just think I’m a poser.
For example, I know quite a bit about DIY car repairs and to someone who doesn’t know a transmission from an axle I would appear to be an expert.
However, to the guy who builds NASCAR racing cars I probably look like an uneducated schmuck.
So when I hear other bloggers tell me I should follow So-And-So’s advice because he’s an expert, I have to wonder: An expert in whose eyes? How much does he really know?
And more important – Why am I letting this guy intimidate me just because someone else thinks he’s an expert? Maybe he’s just an arrogant uneducated schmuck.
And this is what I assume people are thinking about me when someone refers to me as an expert.
Beware The Man Behind The Curtain
Maybe I’m over-thinking this whole “expert” thing, but think about it – How many times have you been led astray by someone who appears to be an expert? I know I’ve seen it a lot. I know you have, too.
Remember some of those How To Make Money Online guides you’ve got lying around gathering dust? You purchased those guides because the author presented himself as an expert in that area but when you actually read the book you realized you’d been scammed.
It’s so easy for someone to pull the ol’ “I’m an expert” trick and get away with it. All it takes is a little creative writing, a nice looking web page and a professional looking cover for your ebook.
So the idea that we put so much emphasis on “being an expert” and providing “expert advice and information” makes me very uncomfortable.
If anyone can claim to be an expert on anything, then how do you know who to trust? How many bloggers are using smoke and mirrors to create that expert image?
And how many readers who’ve run up against these so-called “experts” now think I’m using smoke and mirrors simply because I’m labeled an expert? Maybe we just need to come up with a different word.
Anyway, you, there in the back. It’s time to wake up now. I’m done musing for the day. Today’s pop quiz includes only one question: Does it make you uncomfortable when someone calls you an expert? Answer below in the comments, please.