Share What You Know

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 2 min read

There's an old joke that on the internet no one knows you're a dog. It's a classic, one of the greats, and I'd like to add my own twist on this: on the internet no one knows you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Social media especially convinces everyone that they are an expert in a subject immediately. It's amazing how I follow the same people, but that group is an expert in the auto industry when there are Apple car rumors, epidemiologists when there's a public health crisis, and a payments expert when there's App Store rule news.

As I tweeted a while ago, the Dunning-Kruger effect is absolutely a thing and it's a trap we all fall into regularly.

I'm not immune to this effect myself, and I try to avoid it. The best way I've found is to look for people who are actually experts in a subject matter and see what they have to say about things. Ideally, find a few so that you get more than just one opinion. We can't all be experts in everything, and we rely on reporters and industry experts to package information in a way that's both useful and consumable.

To help make the internet a better place for everyone, I'd like to suggest that if you are an expert in a subject matter (or even if you only know a bit more than the average person), that you share your expertise online. Do it on a blog, in a newsletter, in a video, or on social media, but do it somewhere public so that people who want to learn more can find it. Not every post needs to explain everything, but little bits of insight here and there go a long way to making the rest of us more informed.

For my part, I'm an expert in payments and consumer software, so when those topics come up I'm happy to share what I can, but I am trying not to get too deep on things like politics, cars, and basically everything else. I do dabble, but more to ask questions and present work from experts who I trust more than myself.