guess what – you’re not that smart

The title of this post comes from one of my favorite blogs that talks about psychological phenomena that are so common yet not mentioned as often as they should be.

The subject for this post though —

who are you trying to fool????

In the land of the Internet, there are certain experts that man you do NOT want to cross. They are the experts in what they do.

you ain't no Van Damme throwin some white powder in my eyes

(for the Jean Claude reference feel free to watch the Bloodsport finale and remember how epic the 80s were. Epic. fast forward to 3:00. Stop watching after 5:00). Ha-mazing. Right – back to the post :

They live it. They breathe it. They may or not sleep with it every night ; I don’t know, I’m not really sure I want to ask them.

But in any case they ARE the Experts with a captial E.

In the field of SEO for example, they know all the tips and tricks of making certain topics pop up in your search results. If you didn’t see the example of how Alec Brownstein got a job via Google ads, for example — you’re missing out.

When I recently found out, then, that certain “experts” in their field were being called out by fellow experts I was.. a bit underwhelmed I have to admit.

The social web allows us to share what people are doing. Quickly.

One of the ethos of the social web is openness and transparency because – guess what – if you aren’t — someone is going to find out. It’s amazing, still, that people can call themselves “experts” yet not truly understand that you really DO have to be open about what you’re doing!

Why on EARTH would you try and fake it?

One of the reasons I started my own blog, in fact, was to be able to know what goes on “from the other side”.

(Talking about in terms of community management, in my case — in order to understand a group you have to be part of it. AKA participant observation 😉 )

When someone leaves a comment, for example, I’m really aware of how personal this space is for me and how personally a blogger can take a comment. In turn, this has made me very aware of how intrusive or welcomed comments may be when I leave them on someone else’s blog.

It’s not a space to leave a commercial message ; Anything but!!

(In fact I have to admit I had to DM a fellow community manager the other day because her blog had accidentally signed me into my corporate account and I wanted to make sure she knew it was by accident. My bad. You live you learn.)

In the end though I have to say I firmly believe in “white-hat” tactics (as opposed to “spamdexing” black hat), for quite a few reasons.

  • OK I’m not the ethical paraiah that has come to save the blogosphere and frankly wouldn’t ever want to be a part of a group that considers itself as such. But ethical bloggers/Internet surfers/Twitterers are always welcome
  • Like I said up top, messages spread quickly online through email, private messages, chats, etc. So even if you’re not feeling the unwritten ethos of 100% disclosure, you might just want to pay attention to that
  • Sometimes hackers are funny. (who doesn’t enjoy a little Google bomb now and again) Usually they’re not.
  • Your reputation is at stake. One idea I have always believed in is that Once you break someone’s trust, you can never get it fully back. You may be able to tape it back together over time, but the cracks will always be there.

So … rather than trick the experts

Wouldn’t you rather try and work with them ?

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