Authentic Authorities on the Internet: How to find them, and how to become one.
There are so many voices on the Internet, and as anyone can make claims about anything, it can become quite trying when attempting to research an issue or subject that one feels passionate about...
There are so many voices on the Internet, and as anyone can make claims about anything, it can become quite trying when attempting to research an issue or subject that one feels passionate about. If you’d like to become an authority on a topic, or you’d like to find people whose information and opinions are credible/reputable, then there are some definite ideas to take into consideration.
How do you prove that you know what you’re talking about, or that your depth of knowledge and experience outweighs others? If there are thousands of people discussing photography on the web, how do you show people that you’re worth relating to? How do you make connections with the right people and not charlatans or novices?
As all things in life, the Internet isn’t different in the sense that stripping things back to their simplicity gets us to the real essential point of things. The first step to creating an authentic presence online is simple: Be yourself! What does this mean? It means, share your opinions; your point-of-view, the one that no one else in the world has.
How do you become an authority? Simple. Get to know one area of interest/subject matter as well as you can. Research. Read. Discuss. Google search your topic of choice and then read what the highest ranked people’s blogs have to say about it. Then have a look at some of the lesser-known sites. You never know what hidden pearls of wisdom and experience lurk beneath your fingertips. Look for voices that are creative and original. If they have a blog and it’s getting a lot of valid comments from other people whose sites show genuine credibility, you know you’ve found a source of knowledge, as well as a possible connection to relate with, share, and learn from.
One key to becoming learned about anything is to relate with those who already are. Look for websites and blogs where people back up their opinions with facts. Find places where conversation is occurring based around interesting topics. There are plenty of blogs who have great topics, but whose dialogue deviates from the source content. Look for blogs who have links to other respected sites. You have to take time and do your research properly. There are a lot of ‘fake’ blogs out there who have huge lists of other people with whom they ‘link’ to, but in reality never have any real deep interaction.
What is one of your passions? Think about how you went about learning about it. I’ve been training in martial arts for many years. It’s a hard road. I’ve had many teachers, spent a lot of time training, and read many books on the subject. When I talk to a teacher who is experienced, you can feel the wisdom in their words, in their voice. If I was to search for martial arts websites, I know what kind of ‘voice’ I’d be looking for in someone’s written text. It would need to be humble, positive, friendly, and focus on all the fine details in respect to how to progress with lifelong practice.
If I wanted to show that I was an authority on martial arts on the Internet, the first step would to become one in reality. Besides regular training from a respected mentor, I’d need to know as much as I could about the topic. After I’d set up a website/blog and started writing articles on what I know, I’d need to go to others’ sites that interest me and leave genuine comments about issues that affected me. I’d try to help these other people, and occasionally challenge their assertions if I didn’t wholly agree with them. Just as in reality (the Internet may be ‘virtual’, but it’s definitely part of ‘real life’) we gain respect and interest from others when we speak and act from a base of truth.
A fine soul once said, “The truth will set you free.” Think of your interaction on the Internet just as you do with everyday normal living. You want to know and befriend those of similar interests with standards not unlike your own. You probably get a great feeling of accomplishment when you help others. Who doesn’t? Do it on the Internet too! Don’t think solely about what you will gain by having an online presence. Think about how your knowledge and experience might help others. It’s always great to achieve reciprocity, but people feel altruism online just as in all other public spheres, and we appreciate it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jesse S. Somer is a creative writer working at M6.Net: ‘The web-hosting company for humans.’ M6.Net is working hard to help humanity experience the power and freedom to develop their own part of the Internet, to share their information and connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. http://www.readmine.com/ is their next step towards fulfilling this goal.