I Don't Know What I'm Talking About More Often Than Not

I found this piece at kottke.org really, really fascinating: "The Challenges of Conversational Journalism."  The post quotes someone who has studied the Samoan culture trying to understand the Manti T'eo hoax, and someone who is an audio engineer weighing in on whether Beyonce lip-synched at the inauguration.

Everybody (including me!) is blogging, opining, and otherwise blathering on about the topics du jour.  We may be experts in something, but we're not often talking about things we're experts in, and so while every once in a while we might spout of a nugget, more often than not all we're doing is adding noise to an already clangy conversation.

I'm not saying we should save ourselves only for topics we actually know something about.  I can't speak for others, but when I write it's often because I don't have it all figured out and instead am trying to organize my thoughts through the practice of writing them out for public consumption.  So it's OK to provide commentary even if you don't know what you're talking about - you can still learn from it, and so can others. 

But I do think we should take the time to sift through all the noise and find the experts so we know what they're saying.  And I do think that those who are experts should not be afraid to put their two cents in, so we can all learn from their perspective. Let's hope we all get better at chiming in and at sifting through.
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