I was speaking at a conference earlier today and was introduced by the host as:
‘Darren is one of the most famous bloggers on the internet and an expert in his field…’
As I listened to this introduction (and wondered how I’d be able to live up to it) two things struck me:
- How little the guy doing the introductions knew about the blogosphere and my little bit of it.
- How writing a blog on a topic has the potential to give you real credibility and legitimacy in a field.
Two years ago I was just an ordinary guy who liked to research and think about his personal hobbies. Today I’m still an ordinary guy who likes to research and think on the same topics, however I do it out loud and in a public way – and suddenly people call me things like ‘expert’ and ‘famous’. What’s more they ask me to come and talk to and teach them about the things I write about.
This both scares and excites me.
It scares me because I AM just an ordinary guy thinking out loud and to be reminded that people actually read what one writes and take it on board as ‘expertise’ can be a be freaky thought – with such a privilege comes responsibility. It also scares me because if I can become an ‘expert’ (I laugh every time I write that) how many other ordinary people out there with too much time on their hands are ‘experts’ in things they don’t really have expertise in also? I’m not sure I’ll ever read anything on the internet quite the same again.
It excites me because it illustrates the power of blogging. I believe that the humble blog is a medium with incredible potential and know that in the right hands it can actually be used in some powerful ways. It also excites me because blogging is a medium that is not just for ‘experts’ – in fact in some strange way blogging is a rich learning experience that may actually help create true experts in different fields.
You see whilst I fall into uncontrollable fits of laughter when I hear myself referred to as an ‘expert’ I actually have to admit that whilst perhaps that term may be a little strong that I AM actually learning and gathering knowledge and experience in the fields I write about.
Blogging is partially responsible for this. Before when I researched I did so in a way which was quite random and scattered – today when I research and then blog on my findings I am forced to be a little more structured and set out in order to communicate what I find in a way that makes sense to my reader. Blogging puts legs to my previously scattered thoughts and in the process I actually grow in my knowledge and dare I say it ‘expertise’ of the fields that I write about.