Writing Tip

Write Like an Expert

I was inspired to write this post by a terrific piece at Wired, it seemed to go well with my “some guy on the internet” post the other day. The satirical wired piece recommends the following for appearing to be an expert:

  1. PICK A FIELD THAT CAN’T BE VERIFIED.
  2. CHOOSE A SUBJECT THAT’S ACTUALLY SECRET.
  3. GET YOUR OWN ENTRY IN AN ENCYCLOPEDIA.
  4. USE THE WORD ZEITGEIST AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
  5. BE SURE TO USE LOTS OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS.
  6. SPEAK FROM THE BALLS, NOT FROM THE DIAPHRAGM.
  7. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE THINGS UP.
  8. DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF TO CURRENT KNOWLEDGE.
  9. GET AN HONORARY PHD.
  10. MAKE A HABIT OF NAME-DROPPING.
  11. BE FAMOUS. IT HELPS.

Crazy thing is I think there are bloggers out there taking his advice!

I tend to read quite a lot of technical blogs to keep my knowledge of geek stuff fresh. You wouldn’t believe how many times I sit there shaking my head at all the acronyms, “leveraging paradigms” marketese and technobabble that goes on. Most of the time it’s just not necessary and on the rare occasions it is necessary it is only polite to explain or link to a definition somewhere, right?

I’m sure I don’t have to mention any blogs by name where the author talks from the balls either. Some bloggers need to calm down on the ol’ testosterone. Sure it is great to have confidence, and go right ahead and be forthright, just don’t beat us over the head with it.

Making stuff up and dredging up old knowledge is now so refined in the SEO space it is practically an art form. Just look at the comments in Digg or Technorati over the coming days commenting on Nicks SEO post for verification.

The name dropping is the best one. Some bloggers make an art of it. Erm, just because you met Tom Cruise doesn’t mean you are suddenly an expert on acting (or Scientology), heh.

Having said this, I can do without fame or an encyclopaedia entry but I would love to get me a honorary PHD. Or a degree of any kind …

Read the full article, it is funny stuff.

Author: Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.

8 thoughts on “Write Like an Expert

  1. I would rather be given one, or maybe buy one, the actual legit thing seems *so* much work, heh

  2. EARN your PhD!
    I had to work for mine, so you should, too.
    πŸ™‚

    I’d like my own Wikipedia (or Encyclopaedia Britannica) entry, though.

  3. Love the seo analogy — it’s the same with designers, there are always a whole huge bunch of vociferous noobs that know nothing about nothing, touting their expertise — the fact that they own a copy of dreamweaver makes them an expert designer right? The fact that they bought seobook makes them an instant ranking expert — pah, what rot!

  4. We can’t question the expertise of the NSA because we are not in the NSA.

    Stuff like that cracks me up. I like when NSA can’t be investigated because the courts/lawyers/politicians can’t have access to the information they want to access.

    I used to be in the military working with the NSA (I was a low level grunt peon). Maybe there’s a blog calling to me. I could be a made up expert too. Think they would let me post from prison if I accidentally posted classified information?

  5. Chris, I am deply indebted toyou. You have shown me the way! I have realized that I was seriously under-using my potential by writing serious posts about my l33t opinions.

    Ihave decied to repay you back in kind. I am now gonna write a new Blog. I have even chosen a topic for the same. I am now gonna write about:

    “Leveraging the conversations in the new marketplace by way of merging multiple Identity Silos and technology to generate a fresh method of recognition without utilising any aspect of cognitive abilities within the Human scope of ability or capability.”

    The name of the Blog?

    Techno-IDs-In-Our-Times a.k.a Techno ID.I.O.T.s.

    Howzzat??

    Regards,
    Shri.

    BTW, did I tell you I met Nick (yeah, Wilson) the other day? And I am gonna meet Ahmed (right, Bilal) soon, too… πŸ˜›

  6. nice find Chris

    where do I get my honorary PHD?

    And does Wikipedia count? πŸ˜›

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