The Rarity of Obscurity

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Are you the best in the world at what you do?

Ten years ago, it was very difficult to answer this question. One didn't really have a good sense of who the best shoe salesmen, school teachers, and local writers were around the world.

Now, things are different. You can actually find out very quickly who the most important people are in your community of interest, no matter where they live. Almost every professional now has an online presence. Websites share company's personalities. Blogs share employees' plans. Microsharing showcases real-time work.

Language will soon not be much of a barrier, either. Automatic translation will soon make it simple to read, say, a Chinese-language blog in English, and then comment on it in English and have the author see your comment in Chinese. This will be true not only of blogs but everything from newspapers to tweets and IMs.

In the not so distant future, obscurity will be rare. Are you prepared for the competition? For the attention?