What is a Maven?

A few years ago, a friend of mine described me as a maven.

“A what?” I said.

“A maven.  It’s an old Hebrew word,” he explained.  “A maven is someone who, if they need to buy a washing machine, will really do their homework.  They’ll read best-buy guides, they’ll compile a shortlist based on reviews from experts, they’ll compare every detail of the most promising machines (the load capacity, the power consumption, the water consumption), factoring in their needs and the price of every machine and come to a clear decision about which one represents the best value for money.  They won’t necessarily buy the cheapest, or the most expensive.  They’ll buy the absolute best one in their price range.”

“Mmm… yeah, that would be me!” I laughed.  His description was spot on.