You’re an expert now?

19 Oct

So I have this friend (a term I use loosely, as I don’t quite consider her a friend anymore) who is selling herself as a social media expert.   She’s literally made that her title **

First off, let’s just make things clear.  I’m not proclaiming to be an expert either,  I lurk around on Twitter, reading what other people say and looking for interesting links to follow.  Occasionally I’ll post a comment, but mostly I’m there to gather info and  I’m sure anyone who has spent any amount of time on Twitter will realise what an amazing source of info it is 🙂

However, it took me a while to figure out who to follow to get the type of info I wanted.   I had to trawl through a lot of profiles to find people who are interesting and news sites that won’t spam my feed but will keep me entertained and intrigued.  I also realised that I could make friends on Twitter, however platonic, and that meant that I could get even more info from their sources.  (Can you tell that I’m a bit of a news-whore)  It also meant that I had a whole new support system.  People who watch the same shows that I do, go to the same places, buy the same things and they all had an opinion to share.  Many times I’ve decided not to buy something because of the advice I’ve received from Twitter.  There is one snag though….to get advice and support, you need to interact.  Give advice as much as you receive it, support the people who support you, share links that you thought are newsworthy.

Which brings me back to my “expert friend”.  She’s been on Twitter for all of 9 months now, and that is in her capacity as “Online Community Manager” for the radio station that she works for.  She’s been on Twitter in her personal capacity since May, sometimes only posting once every few months or so.

All of this wouldn’t bother me at all, if she didn’t have the audacity to sell herself as an expert in the field.   Dictionary.com defines an expert as the following:

ex·pert

–adjective

3. possessing special skill or knowledge; trained by practice; skillful or skilled (often fol. by in  or at ): an expert driver; to be expert at driving a car.
4. pertaining to, coming from, or characteristic of an expert: expert work; expert advice.

I specifically want to draw the attention to the highlighted bit: “trained by practice”, because this is the bit that annoys me the most.  How can you claim to be an expert when you’ve barely scraped the surface of your field of “expertise”??  Is there a crash course I’m unaware of, or do people learn by osmosis now?

Do me a favour, before you claim to be an expert in anything, show me the results of your expertise.  Show me what makes you so knowledgeable.  Show me you’ve actually sat down and studied the ins and outs of your chosen field and how you’ve applied them.  Show me people who believe in you.

If you can’t do that, your nothing more than a wannabe chancer to me, and you’ve succeeded only in losing my respect.

**I may be annoyed, but I’m not an asshole.  Name and details omitted to give her a chance to prove herself.

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4 Responses to “You’re an expert now?”

  1. TheRealExpert 20/10/2010 at 08:57 #

    haha… everybody with a twitter account and a blog calls themselves a social media expert these days. There’s a saying among the people whom I refer to as “social media experts” that goes something like this:

    “if you have to call yourself asocial media expert, then chances are that you aren’t one ”

    I believe that Social Media Experts are followed, not trained, and definitely not self proclaimed.

    • arkwife 20/10/2010 at 09:16 #

      I fully agree. I believe anyone who has to tell the world that they’re in expert, in any field, probably isn’t one.

  2. hardspear 22/10/2010 at 07:01 #

    Ja, I like food and I like to cook and I think I am quite good at it, but I can hardly call myself a chef, can I…

    Being a participant does not make you the expert.

    • arkwife 22/10/2010 at 09:08 #

      Definitely not. Especially if you barely participate at all. Some of her projects haven’t been updated in weeks!

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