It's just not winner-take-all anymore, and the ruthless and selfish are going to get left on the curb somewhere. Why? Because it's the age of "us", of community, of collective wisdom and thought. It's time now to stop locking our knowledge away and saving it for the highest bidder, but rather invest in ourselves and our colleagues and lift up those around us.
It's the step beyond talking about community, and doing your part to actually move the community somewhere (and yourself along with it).
Here are a few ideas I've had and used for how to spread the wealth a bit. Will you add yours?
1. Keep up with your Delicious.com links so that others can benefit from the information you find while you're doing research or just bopping around the 'net. Make sure you publish it somewhere prominent. (Find mine here, which I'm in the process of cleaning up and overhauling).
2. Commit to blogging about real world examples and case studies, full of executable ideas that others can build upon and learn from. Better yet, share your own best practices - and mistakes.
3. Put every presentation you do on Slideshare.
4. If you've got more to say than just a blog post or two, put together an ebook. Publish it free.
5. Answer lots of questions on LinkedIn Q&A. Be specific and offer real solutions, not just "call me and I'll send you a proposal" stuff.
6. Donate an hour of your time to a non-profit who needs to learn more about your area of expertise. Better yet, tap into an organization like the Taproot Foundation and let them connect you with an organization that needs you.
7. Think of a way to use your Twitter network for good. Can you drum up some volunteers for a local conference or fundraiser? Raise money or awareness? What can you do that's beyond fleeting conversation?
9. Do 10 minute phone interviews with 10 people in your network about a specific topic, like how they've solved a specific marketing or branding challenge. (One I've been asking around lately is how people are initiating the conversations about social media internally before even doing anything). Publish it as a quick article, write a blog post, or use something like BlogTalkRadio to publish them live.
10. Mentor someone new to your industry. Tap into a professional organization you belong to, or reach out to a local university to find someone young and eager to soak up all of your knowledge. Help them get plugged in and set up on the social networks you value, and make some introductions on their behalf.
So that's a start. We're all richer when we empower each other to be better. How do you like to give back to your community, and what are you doing to encourage others to do the same? I'd love to have you join the comments and share your thoughts with me.
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