Being an expert ___________ : Really?
Being an expert anything has taken on new meaning with the emergence of the Internet, social marketing, content distribution, and the good ole website. It seems that today everyone (just read anyone’s Twitter profile) is an expert. A friend (John Broaddus) pinged me with “what is an expert, how do you tell?” I started thinking how often do I throw around the world expert – honestly more than I should. What is a good benchmark or compass for being an expert?
How can you measure if someone is an expert __________?
– Maybe use their LinkedIN profile. This is difficult because like a resume, anyone can say just about anything; however LinkedIN is making great strides with their recommendations as a form of validation. I happen to know someone that will not interview a person without a well developed LinkedIN profile, with 100+ connections and at least 5 recommendations.
– Maybe use their Twitter profile. Sure Twitter has recently developed the stupid blue check mark (Verified) which means absolutely nothing. The blue check mark + $10 bucks will buy you a Starbucks. You could potentially look at the Twitter Followers to Following ratio, but people are even gaming that system, when I am judging someone’s Twitter activity I look to influence, meaning how often are they mentioned or retweeted, this is a decent indicator.
– Maybe review their personal website. Even more difficult. With a decent camera and an about.me account, I am off and running being whoever I wanna be. I can proclaim myself an “expert anything” in about ten minutes. If you are reviewing someone’s personal website you can always use a tool like Compete to take a quick look at the traffic, or maybe go check a Whois database to see how old the domain registration is.
So, in the Internet-age being an expert is still difficult, but easy to proclaim. Wonder who is working on a system that verifies the authentic nature and influence of a person. Seems to me that the social networks specifically LinkedIN are in the best position to do this. Maybe we need an “expert verification” service – a third party that provides an audit that confirms a person to be an expert in a given topic – or we just stick to what has always worked, just judge a person’s expertness on confirmed knowledge, past history, and the word of others that you trust – or you can just use the Twitter blue check mark.