Alright, I can officially say at least Singapore wants to shift the population towards Lifelong Learning paradigm so let us talk about Learning. :)

Ask yourself the following question:

“If you want to be a professional soccer player, who will you ask for  guidance and advice?” Naturally, you will answer, “Ask a current professional soccer player.”

With the Knowledge Economy right now, we are swamped with a data and information. To manage this tsunami of information, we need to better curate our sources.

So how do we seek out the "professional soccer player" then. Thought I share a few tips of my own here and hopefully these tips will be helpful to you to build up your intelligence. I will speak in the context of learning about data analytics and artificial intelligence but feel free to adopt it for the expertise you are looking for.

1) Look at their background and published contents

Have a look at their background, perhaps LinkedIn. Firstly, look at their career history. Check to see if they have been in the industry for a long period of time. How long is long? To me, if the person has been in the industry for 7 years and above, chances are the individual has gotten a decent exposure and have formed his/her own heuristics about the job and industry. Moreover, if a person has been in the industry that long, surely he/she knows how to thrive in the industry to stay that long.

Check out their published work. Some examples here. Perhaps look at their code repositories. Determine if the code is written in a way you'll like to learn from such as efficiency, documentation, etc. Check out their LinkedIn posts, Medium or Newsletter. Look for original work or original thoughts. It can be an opinion on certain news or articles and as such look out for their thought processes. Check to see if their thought processes can give you a wider perspectives of things. Why learn from someone who totally agrees with everything you say and do? If their LinkedIn posts are usually about forwarding other people's content, you can be the judge of it whether to continue follow the person for the content forwarded. :)

2) Events they attended and the role they play in

I have seen people who masquerade themselves as experts by joining many events. The true expertise can both be speakers, panelists and moderators. If the person has played these different roles, especially being a speaker or panelist, the person should score high on expertise. If a particular person played the role of moderator more often than speaker or panelist, its an indicator to me at least, the person may not have the expertise he/she is portraying because its easier to ask question than answering them.

If possible, get the content of the speakers if they are regulars. Look through the content and ask yourself if the person has shared a lot of motherhood statements or has thrown out a lot of keywords without much connection of the concepts. I have attended enough talks where by the first few minutes after introduction, I will have a good idea if the I will benefit or just hearing from another Press Release of Motherhood Statements (yawn!)

3) Number of Followers

My sincere apologies to some of my friends out there reading this. I am not a big fan of people putting in their LinkedIn description the number of followers that they have. It is an egotistical play in my opinion. I do not treat my followers as tools to boost my credibility, but rather each and everyone of them are folks who like the original content that I put out, and hopefully the LinkedIn algorithm will push my content to them. But I do monitor my followers count to see how far my post reaches because they are a validation to my content, the more followers I have, it means the more impact I am making which to be honest, meets my self-actualization needs in a way.

However I just want to point out this is one factor for me to determine if the person does have the expertise or not. Putting the number of followers in their LinkedIn title is a discounting signal to me. However, if the background of the person interests me, I will still have a chat/discussion to find out more. :)

Continuing on this social media aspect, I have seen people put themselves as "Prolific Writer of [Some Blogging Site]" While mainstream media does curate to a certain level content, blogging sites such as Medium does not. Anyone can sign up a Medium account and start writing their thoughts on it. The point is, if you are not familiar with a certain website, and you see someone is a prolific writer on it, my suggestion is check out the website and see the ease of creating an account and publishing it.

There are certain titles that once they put it on their LinkedIn, I am very skeptical of their expertise. The titles are "Thought Leader", "Futurist", "Opinion Leaders", "Industry Leader", "AI Strategist" etc. These titles I feel, has more credibility when they are given by other people. Which is why if someone pays me a compliment, calling me a thought leader for Artificial Intelligence, I am very happy about it. Self-proclaiming these titles, in my opinion, reeks of desperation to showcase rather.


After many years of learning, after my former education, I come to realise if any person that resembles an "experts" jumps out at you at any social media platform, it only means the "expert" is an influencer. Influencer does not mean the person has the expertise and background you will want to learn from. It is best to do the following:

1) Check out his background and expertise

2) Lookout for original content and thoughts by the person.

After doing these two steps and ascertain that the content and background is what you will like to learn from, then perhaps a follow or frequent visit to their content will benefit you a lot more over the time spent.

True expertise need effort to dig out actually, because these folks are very successful on their own. Social media only pushes influencers that needs further validation. It is up to individual like us to manage our learning, to only let the true expertise's knowledge and experience into our minds.

What are your thoughts on this? :)

Thank you for reading till here and I hope the tips will help you in a way. I welcome any feedback you may have.

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