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Hmm. Depends on the expert. As a manager, I hired people who were more presentable than the acknowledged expert! (My boss was "quite keen" on the whole "spin the story" thing. He always span the story to reflect how he saved the company, the world, etc.) Personally, I've come across too many people who claim to be experts to have much (any?) trust on their word!

I do have to observe that many experts couldn't translate their topic to plain language if their lives depended upon doing so! Part of the mystique of experts, in some fields, is their mastery of the "local" lingua franca. These experts rely upon others being knowledgeable about the subject; they often despise the job of teaching others the same mastery. In other words, the ones who can translate aren't necessarily experts - but they can play one on TV.

Of course, this raises the question "what is an expert?"

I've heard two viewpoints: the expert is the one who knows more and more and about less and less until they know absolutely everything about nothing! (Cynical, but whatever), and the other is that the expert is an expert because he's made more mistakes than anyone else - they just remember the lessons those mistakes taught them. (A little less cynical, but not by much!) To me, an expert is someone who knows their subject. Communicating it? Well, a different skill is needed for that!

Carolyn Ann

Dan:

That is always very powerful as in the end unless the "filter" adds actual value, the less intermediaries between knowledge and expertise and publics, the better. We don't need to protect experts from people -- they do a fabulous job at thinking on their feet themselves. I am quite happy to get the real content owner in front of customers as I do with the media.

Thank you for presenting a concrete example. How is it going with your launch?

Hi Valeria,

My company, Networked Insights, is working with an fine art site, artfulhome.com, that is helping connect art buyers with artists through their community. The artists are The Guild’s “experts” -- the people that create the products the company sells with their own hands. It’s created relationships and conversations that would otherwise not have occurred and brought new and LOYAL customers to the Guild and to those artists.

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