What is the value of an expert? In an age where information is free and available (without even typing—thank you Alexa), logic would seem to indicate a reduction in value. If information is free, how does the “expert” survive?
And yet, in this unique moment in history, we see an overall rise of interest in “experts” and “gurus.” It turns out that we need to update our definition of an expert.
Here’s why this matters: in the age of infinite information availability, it’s more vital than ever to realize that expertise is a reflection of your standing within your community, not simply your academic standing. If we believe that copious study leads to expertise, then we are more likely to forget that our study must serve our community first—and we’ll end up unpleasantly surprised that our “expertise” is rejected.
Let’s look at three essential factors of expertise: