When Google is your professor and Wikipedia is your encyclopedia, you can become a kitchen expert in almost anything. The problem with kitchen experts is they sometimes don't have the wisdom to know the difference between good and bad information. This is where subject matter experts come in. We need someone who can help us sift the information we discover and help make it relevant to our world.
Travel agents are realising this access phenomenon and how it's breaking down the old way they used to work. Today you can book flights and accommodation to almost anywhere online yourself. If you have recently been on a family vacation, you will have explored the location of the hotel on google maps using street view, checked out the hotels guest comments on tripadvisor.com and be pretty well informed about what it costs, where to go and what to ask for when you get there. You don't need the answers anymore, now you need a trusted advisor, someone who has been there, or sent people and got feedback. Someone who can take all that information and parcel it down into digestible bits of information that make your trip better, that's a Thought Leader.
We have moved simply from knowledge to applied wisdom, from expert to trusted authority. It’s this shift that information experts need to get their heads around.
How do your ideas make a difference?