How to be an expert in anything

(Last Updated On: March 13, 2009)

As I travel around the country speaking to groups about new and social media, I often ask my audience if they use Google reader or another RSS (real simple syndication) reader.  I am always surprised at the answer. On average, only 5-10 percent of my audience does so.

I subscribe, monitor and read about about 80 blogs and podcasts. I don’t have time to read them all!  It is a big waste of time to go to each site every day for updates.  Not every Web site, blog or podcast is updated each day.  Plus, I’m not interested in every post written by every blogger I follow. 

The solution is an RSS reader. This allows the Web to come to you.  A quick scan of my reader allows me to read the headlines of the latest posts that are of interest to me.  I can read the valued information in my reader or click through to the Web site. 

So, how does this make you an expert?  Isn’t it obvious?

The amount of quality, up-to-date information on the Web is enormous.  You can find information  on just about anything at most any level of complexity.

If I wanted to become an expert on butterflies, I’m sure it wouldn’t take me long to find the current experts and gurus that would guide me toward the information desired. 

Top bloggers, podcasters and video creators often link to other people they respect in their blogroll.  When bloggers link to someone, it’s their reputation on the line.  So, the blogroll is one of the first places I look for additional resources. 

It’s always good to subscribe to a variety of blogs and opinions.  Some expert bloggers offer links to current information on a regular basis.  Others offer opinion and analyisis.   Good opinion and analysis will support you in developing your expertise in the area of your choice. 

Most of the good blogs offer easy methods to subscribe to their RSS feed. But, if they don’t offer a simple subscription solution, all you need to do is click on the blue RSS icon in the URL field.  The page will reveal the feed and address. Often it will start with “feed://”.  Then you will need to cut and paste the address into your favorite reader.  Often you will need to replace the “feed://” with http:// for the feed to work properly.

After you have subscribed, study and apply the content of a variety of experts, teachers and knowledgable bloggers. Over time you too can become an expert. 


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