Q: How Do You Impact People Online?
A: Become an Expert
The more people I meet, follow and learn of through the internet, the clearer it becomes that the reason I found them was because they were an expert on something. Our world is increasingly siloed with deep knowledge bases available about every imaginable field of study. The good news is that even with such abundant information, the bar to “expert” status is still quite achievable.
My “expert discovery process” normally starts when I have a simple, but engaging idea or question. After searching feverishly through the first few dozen results, I end up with a list of 5 or so “experts” who I can turn to for help answering my questions. These experts come in all shapes and sizes. From a Stack Overflow power-user answering a comically simple coding question to an SEO professional with tons of great research and tips, experts are everywhere now.
Being an Expert = Sharing Your Experiences
The internet is a great example of the Pareto principle, where 20% of users produce and 80% of users consume. What this means for would-be experts is that the bar to making meaningful contributions is very low. There simply are not enough people contributing to every conceivable niche for there to already be a full stable of experts in every field.
In my experience, all you need to do to be recognized in a particular field is to be genuinely interested in learning about the area and to share your learnings and experiences with your niche.
Experts are Rewarded
The people who share their experiences – in detail – are highly rewarded through greater exposure to new entrants to the niche and general recognition across the web.
The real reward of self-guided learning and experience is the broadened horizon of your mind which will hopefully help others along their journey to finding fulfillment.