How to become an expert

Afraid that the world is passing you by? Want to become more smarter about what you are doing? Trying to move up the ladder and want to impress the SES crowd at the morning meeting? Become an expert. Easier said than done right? Not so fast. Let me show you what you should already know.

Google Reader. Yup, the power of Google cannot be understated. You should already be using Google Reader to stay abreast of your industry (along with the Wonkette blog). So how do you become an expert?

First, log into your Google account. If you don’t use Google Reader, start subscribing to feeds. Subscribe to your agency news feed and any other industry related feed. Then set up Google Alerts.

In your Google Alerts page you can really have some fun. I work in the maritime field. I set up Google Alerts for companies I’m following, like SOVCOMFLOT. Play with the alerts, I subscribed to “Arctic + Shipping” for specific stories about Arctic shipping. Have the alerts sent to your “feed” rather than your email. Once you’ve subscribed to the alerts in your Google Reader you’ll be able to check them each morning.

Then sit back and check that reader on your laptop, smart phone, or e-reader device. You’ll become the life of the morning meeting and the “go to” person in your agency.

Boom- you’re the expert!

Good luck!

Good luck!

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Sterling Whitehead

I used Google Reader for 3 years. I even wrote about using it in Federal Computer Week, but I’ve recently quit using it. It certainly builds your knowledge; the issue for me was I became engrossed and ignored the people around me. I was already a news junkie; Reader gave me the ability to be a hyper-news junkie. I ended up quitting because I wanted to change my behavior partially by altering my digital environment. So far, it’s worked.

Benjamin Strong

Interesting position Sterling. I like the fact that I can get very focused information, usually before my senior command. Now, just having the informatino doesn’t make me smarter. I read the information, decide its value, and find a way to make it useful in my daily tasks.

I have a nice system of checking my reader in the morning commute (I take the train for an hour each morning). I email pertinent stories to my email account. I haven’t ignored the people around me, although some folks would say I keep my nose in my iPad too much!

The bottom line is that using this strategy gives you access to information that can make a difference in your niche, perhaps even the advantage.