How to sound smart? Write a post going against conventional wisdom.

Sounding really smart online can be quite easy at times but the single easiest way is to post an opinion going against conventional wisdom on a topic. The Bull during a Bear market will always get attention. Saying that open plan office can hurt productivity will catch the right ear. Pointing out that email can be too much of a good thing is always provocative.

Blogs are handy devices for putting ideas out into the world and honing your voice (especially if you aren’t trying to do it for a full-time job). They provide a (relatively) safe place to practice with an idea. Take 4 paragraphs and try to defend a topic that you are seemingly decided on…..it’s fun and interesting.

The secret to this is that there is no such thing as a black and white topic. When you get to an edge of a subject (always the most interesting place to be) you suddenly start to see all of the exceptions, unconfirmed truths, half-hidden lies, misunderstands, bad statistics, and low visibility situations. In these exist the chance to stake out new ground and explore an area that most people may think is resolved.

Conventional wisdom is never 100% right. It can’t be because it is trying to be truth to too many people applying it in too many places. Pointing out where conventional wisdom fails is both public service and good reading.

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