I’m a generalist. Or, as some like to say, a know-it-all. I’m sure they mean that in the nicest sense. Right? I know a little bit about a lot of different things, and my interests take me here and there and back again, just like Bilbo Baggins.
But as I seek out my place in the world, particularly in this somewhat unusual online world we live in (not unlike that facebook group called “All of my friends live in a small village called facebook in my computer”) I find that there doesn’t seem to be a place for us generalists.
Everybody seems to have a “platform.” You know, a thing their blog is ABOUT. My Core Story blog post from the end of Reverb10 was an attempt to put a finger on what my blog is about, and even that I dodged.
The successful bloggers out there all seem to have these tight, focused messages (and while I’m a generalist, I’m not stupid and prefer success to failure.) Their blogs are about SOMETHING. Not everything, as my blog seems to be. I’m like that dog in UP, squirrel!
While this sort of thing doesn't normally bother me, in light of Gladwell's concept of taking 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, being an expert at nothing does kind of concern me a bit. Should it?
In no particular order, I’m interested/involved in:
- Breastfeeding (I’m a La Leche League Leader, so I have shown the ability to not just be interested in an area of content, but pursue additional information/study/apprenticeship to become a mini-expert in some subjects. Breastfeeding is one. But I'd never want to JUST do breastfeeding counseling.)
- Pregnancy and Childbirth
- eLearning – this is what my degree is in (well, sort-of. It was called different things back then. You know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.)
- Being nice to your kids
- Gifted Education
- Developmental psychology (as it relates to above subjects)
- Gardening/native wildflowers
- Vegetable gardening
- Cooking (the Six O'Clock Scramble is one of my favorite sites)
- Vegetarianism (whole family is ovo/lacto/pesce vege and have been since 2002)
- That awesome bread I’ve been talking about for the last few months
- Adult friendships (that whole “finding your tribe” thing)
- Asia (lived there in High School, have only in the last 2 years reconnected with that whole group of friends via facebook. For years we all just lost track of each other.)
- Dogs (whippets in particular)
- Science Fiction
- Art (fan of Magritte, Dali, Monet, Seurat, Pissarro, Rodin, Caillebotte, Frank Lloyd Wright, and a bunch of other random things including that guy who does the cool multiple-wood use furniture at the local art fair each spring.)
- American Idol (recent convert)
So what do you think? Is there a place for me, for us generalists on the big, bad web? Can we be about anything when we’re all about everything?
(image linked from the Art Institute of Chicago's Webpage.)