Tuesday, September 18, 2007

To Share or Not to Share, That is the Question

Maddie has a good post over at Diary of a Reluctant Blogger where she mentions sharing. I was just going to comment, but then realized it was its own post. (Don't you just love how that happens?)
3) Sharing benefits the field. In fact, there's no benefit to NOT sharing information. Listing our events all together makes the profession look good,
like there's a bunch of cool things happening all over town. In comparison,
listing only one "own" monthly lecture just looks flimsy. And that's just the
tip of that iceberg.

There have been many times where I thought some sharing would do a lot of good. But then the reaction I get is, "won't it dilute the power of what we do and make us look just like the other group/association, or worse yet, confuse our brand with their's?" It is an honest question. How can you properly share information while keeping the integrity of everyone's efforts/brand/message in order to maximize benefit? I think it can be done. But then the tough question becomes, how do you break down the mentality that it can't be done, so why bother trying?


Ben Martin, CAE said...

In a related story, NYTimes decides to SHARE all their content for free. Great blog post on the rationale for doing so.

Greg said...

Great post! In the context of associations, I see our ability to share as fundemetal to our future success. Over time, I believe we will have less and less of our own IP. After all, for many associtions, the IP is actually a result of the labor of members. So, associations can and will become and funnel and filter for information and sharing is the foundation of that.

Maddie Grant said...

Thanks for the plug! I think there's a LOT more to say about this topic. Volunteer members, especially, can often feel real fear about sharing. I think we need to figure out how to really show how the benefits outweigh any risks - and having a good brand from the get-go is probably a necessary starting-point for any effective sharing.