In his book, Trust Agents, Chris Brogan describes how people can become experts by sharing their answers on the web with more people. I believe librarians should be doing this as often as they can in order to showcase their expertise, and it’s something I try to do whenever practical.
Brogan describes the process as follows (pp. 25-26):
- Receive a question requiring your expertise via email.
- Respond with an email but put answer in a blog post as well.
- The answer is out of your email and on the web for others to learn.
- Repeat this process many times.
- Your answers are now in Google.
- Now you’re an expert on the web.
A week ago I received an email from a student looking for market share and brand share information of the energy and sports drink market. I recognized that this would likely be a question others were interested in, so rather than simply replying via email, I put the answer on my Business Blog and sent him the link. He replied back a few hours later with his appreciation (which rarely happens, btw).
In a week’s time, my answer to the one patron has been viewed 103 times and currently sits as the #6 Google search result for “energy drink market share” and #7 result for “sports drink market share.” While all of the resources listed in my answer are from subscription databases (it’s impossible to get a good data on this topic without them) I do suggest that non-OHIO patrons check with their local libraries. Hopefully my post will send other libraries some business while also demonstrating librarian expertise and the value of libraries.