by: Carol Bryant
I love blogging for and about pets and I love the ripple effect one blog post can have. Perhaps as a pet blogger and/or microblogger you've experienced this ripple effect yourself. I cast out one blog post on BlogPaws.com this week and then brought the topic up on BlogPaws' Facebook page.
From there, a great debate without arguement and with utmost respect for one another ensued. This reinforced to me that people can really have a good debate of sorts without making it or taking it personal.
My BlogPaws post on January 10 asked, "Should Pet Bloggers Be Considered Expert Resources?" The topic was explored, the logic of asking that question was noted, and the resource of HARO (Help a Reporter Out) was shared. We even had a HARO staff member stop by. If you don't know what HARO is or want to find a terrific resource of expert finding and establishing yourself as one, read the BlogPaws Pet Bloggers as Experts post from Thursday. I've hyperlinked it.
Then on Friday, January 11, I posed the topic on BlogPaws' Facebook page: "Should Pet Bloggers Be Considered Expert Resources" and therein a great discusion began. Here's an excerpt, but I encourage you to pop over and read the discussion.
This topic begs of the perfect BlogPaws weekend question, so BlogPaws asks, "Do you consider yourself an expert in anything? If you aren't the expert, do you do some fact checking and/or link showcasing so others know where you are getting your information?
Share with us in the comments below. We're listening.
Interesting question. I don’t think my dog is an expert but she certainly is a reliable source of informations when it comes to travel. She’s been writing for 2 years now on our travel blog and decided to start her own blog in order to have her own space and share stories and info. Does it make her an expert on that particular topic? Maybe, for some readers. But i think that blogging, besides helping readers by giving them advices, is all about entertaining. So, is she an entertainer or an expert blogger? One thing for sure, she is an expert on being a Rottweiler on the road and that is expertise!
I’ve worked in a variety of jobs in the pet industry for about 17 years- vet assistant, vet tech, retail, owned and operated a grooming shop. I have been active in different areas of dog sports attending a number of seminars. I am a huge nerd who will devour any information about a topic I am interested in. I have a hard time considering myself an expert although there are areas I have a lot of knowledge in. I feel gives me an advantage in determining if something I read is accurate and reliable.
The only title coming to my head right now that I feel like I can call myself is journalist. I know there can be journalists who are experts in their field, but I feel more like a generalist, someone who collects, write, edits and presents information for others to read.
Depending on the article(ex. health), I do try to include links to sources to back up my information as well as give the reader another site to go.
I think a big part of why I don’t consider myself an expert is because of having worked the above jobs. Working with pet owners has shown me that there is a lot of misinformation spread by well-meaning people. I guess I feel there is a liability in labeling myself an expert when I feel I don’t have the background (school, self-study, many years of experience) in any one area. I have seen enough misinformation to worry about the pet owners who are accepting it as fact and their pets who may suffer the consequences.
I do not believe that all bloggers are experts. They are knowledgeable but unless they have worked in a animal field, been to training or school then are not really a expert. Just because a person has had a lot of pets over the years does not qualify them as a expert. They are very knowledgeable about pet care and can sometimes be a great resource for asking general questions.
Even a pet expert will sometimes have separate opinions than other experts. So my advice is that if you are searching for A expert you need to start asking knowledgeable pet friends and bloggers and you can find one but each of them will probably give you a different expert that they trust is knowledgeable in their field.
But hey I am a poodle and I consider myself a expert in mole digging and mud running.. I do try to practice those skills as much as my pawent will allow me too.
Very interesting array of thoughts here and really enjoying reading them. For me, I consider myself a pet product expert, pet travel expert, and my sub specialties, so to speak, are pet industry PR, social media, blogging, writing, marketing. I believe going to college educated me, but life learning and webinars, conferences, training, and keeping up with all things dog qualifies me to write what I do. However, I am a firm believer in sourcing if you are giving hard facts.
I have made it a practice that when I want to cover topics that I am NOT an expert in (which are MANY), such as diet, health, etc on my blogs, I turn to those who ARE experts in those areas and invite them to do a guest post.
That not only adds a different “voice” to my blog but showcases someone that can answer questions or discuss topics that I do not feel qualified to write about.
I could go to Wikipedia or other sources but don’t want to just regurgitate info/facts
I had to look up the definition on ‘expert’, and I still don’t know! Besides veterinarians, there are very few authoritative and qualified individuals in the pet universe. Unfortunately, it’s just not a highly regulated or educated field.
I certainly wouldn’t call myself an expert in anything pet related. Indeed, one of my dog-forum handles has “No Expert” written underneath it, simply because I feel like I am just one of many little voices. Maybe when all the little voices come together and develop somewhat of a consensus, it has worth. I’m not sure if one individual can really make great claims on their lonesome.
This is a bit rambly, but just my thoughts. 🙂
I would very much say that Pet owners are ‘experts’. If you are a new pet owner, you look to books to help you understand your new pet. The person that wrote that book wrote it from experience of being a pet owner. Once you have had your pet for awhile you know how to care for it, what it likes and dislikes and how it behaves. Now you are experienced so maybe you could write a book. But if you don’t you could choose to pass you knowledge onto friends or create a blog! So yes, pet owners ARE experts.
I may be an expert at Photoshopping a couple of cats driving a pink VW Beetle into outer space… but beyond that, um…no.
; ) Glogirly
Not all pet owners are “experts” but I do not agree with those who talk about the necessity of “credentials, education, and training,” with the exception of health related issues.
Anyone can become an expert in an area by reading, and getting some experience. The issue is whether the person is getting the current information when they read or allowing outdated information to cloud their perspectives.
When providing information and holding it up as “fact” a professional will always reference the source of the idea.
It is the readers and those who follow a blogger who decide if that blogger is an “expert” rather than the blogger themselves.