Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

There absolutely are computer experts - but realize that not everybody on the internet is one!

Is there really any computer experts? From the answers I get to my question, it appears that they just blow you off and never get to a real answer, so it would appear that I know as much as all resources I have tried.

In this excerpt from Answercast #40, I address the idea of experts on the internet. They are there, but they are busy!

Computer experts?

Yes, there are computer experts.

I don't know if I want to classify myself as one of them. I think that the terminology "expert" can be kind of misleading. In reality, it's a relative term.

  • Anyone can be an expert if they know more than you do.

Now, in your case, you're finding lots of online information apparently that you already know.

The good ones are busy

So I question, of course, where it is you're looking. There absolutely are computer experts. They're not all blowing you off.

The good ones, the ones that really know what they're talking about, are busy as heck. I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about this stuff and I simply cannot answer all of the questions I get every day.

There are not enough hours in the day. So what you may be interpreting as perhaps me blowing you off, is in reality my simply prioritizing the kinds of questions that I get every day and answering those questions that I feel are:

  • The most important for the greatest number of people;

  • Or the most interesting for the greatest number of people.

  • Or in many cases - I simply don't know.

In cases where I don't know, I might not have the opportunity to respond, or respond in a way that's going to make you happy.

Do be careful

There absolutely are computer experts – but definitely realize that not everybody on the internet is one! Many people play one.

Support forums

Many of the support forums out there are not experts helping people:

  • But rather people helping each other;

  • Where nobody happens to be an expert;

  • But together they all bring pieces of information to the puzzle;

  • And can often help each other solve problems in very productive ways.

Finding experts

In other cases, when you actually are looking to an authority or specific expert, realize that they are probably very busy. Not every question is necessarily going to get answered.

It's a difficult question to actually address.

There are definitely individuals out there; there are experts out there who are trying.

Like I said, I may not necessarily classify myself as an expert, per se, but even in my position, I am trying and I am answering many questions every day – just not necessarily yours.

Next from Answercast 40 – Is there a safe way to follow a link in spam?

Article C5651 - August 2, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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11 Comments
Christo
August 2, 2012 8:54 AM

Well I would certainly classify you as an expert.

Josh
August 3, 2012 8:52 AM

I agree especially about forums. I think some, not many, are experts and the rest are made up of fan boys and average knowledgeable members.

Got to be careful when reading posts because a lot of them are myths and half-truths as well as fact. Also biased posting is another to be aware of especially topics like operating systems, motherboards, graphic cards, browsers, AMD and Intel and many many many more including non-computing/internet topics.


Esley
August 3, 2012 8:56 AM

Hi Leo, I have 5 books written by Mr. Scott Mueller. These are excellent references and are
published by Que Books. They cover upgrading &
repair from a hardware view point. There are some good web sites too. The Microsoft forums
are the best site for FAQ,

SGattis
August 3, 2012 9:27 AM

There is, at this time, an expert. She's retired.
The rest of us muddle along, trying to learn as we go. Fortunately, there are sites like Leo's to help us along.

Whatever you might try, to fix an issue, please remember to do one thing Leo may already have mentioned....... Back it up first.

Malcolm
August 3, 2012 10:09 AM

There are two definitions of expert that I like:
1. Someone who's three pages further on in the manual than you (but nobody reads manuals now!).
2. Ex as in past it (e.g. ex Olympian). Spert as in drip under pressure.

However, there are true experts out there (Leo's one), but remember, someone may be an expert in one field, but it doesn't make them expert in any others. If you can find someone you trust, then use them - but don't accept everything they say - use your common sense.

Mike
August 3, 2012 12:13 PM

I'm amazed at the number of people who CLAIM to be experts. And more, the number of people who accept it, simply because they said so. I am NO expert; yet I know more than many of the self-proclaimed "experts." A certain "squad" at a certain national electronics store chain being a prime example. Whether Leo considers himself to be an expert or not, I still subscribe to newsletters such as his to help me learn or better understand topics. But basically, if someone SAYS he's an expert, it's a good bet that he's not.

john pro2
August 3, 2012 2:48 PM

I have been called a computer guru and extremely intelligent by someone else.We often only seem that way to others who know a lot less .

Jp

Joe F.
August 7, 2012 7:40 PM

Yes, there ARE experts out there. Anybody who can legitimately claim MVP status, I would consider an expert. Just check out "mvp.support.microsoft.com" and see how many there are.

Joe F.
August 7, 2012 7:43 PM

Hey Leo, why aren't you an MVP? You seem expert enough to me to get MVP status.

Frank
August 7, 2012 10:14 PM

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less, until he knows everything about nothing.

Paul and Jean
August 9, 2012 8:06 AM

We think YOU are one, and Jean and I both are grateful for your continuing newsletters and info. Try always to read almost everything. Please enjoy good health. P&J

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