Friday, January 25, 2008

Why do you openly and freely share what you know?

Whilst discussing with my Manager today the ways I could ‘share’ the information I will gather at the Australian e-Portfolio Symposium in a couple of weeks, I mentioned that I would 'blog' what I'll learn (right here in fact) so other people, beyond my organisation, could learn from it.

This was much to my Manager's dismay, and he responded with - "Well, you'll never get rich if you give it all away".

I found this comment particularly funny, considering that everything I 'create', which is related to what I do as a 'government' employee (whether I create it in or out of work hours), technically, is 'owned by the Minister'.

So my reply was: "Well, if it's money you want - then you're certainly working for the wrong organisation".

Then later I read the following on one of George Siemens' blog postings:
"User created tutorials have come a long way ... Now, with YouTube, podcasts, blogs, and wikis, excellent help resources are often available. There is, of course, nothing formal about this ... just people helping each other. What's their motivation? Most likely, at some point, they similarly benefited from an online tutor (whether learning how to use a piece of software or coming to understand a concept better because someone shared it in a blog or wiki). The teacher is the learner is the teacher.”
So this got me thinking: "So, why do people openly and freely share what they know?"

There's are loads of example of 'free and open sharing' on the web. There are so many great tools that allow people to quickly and easily 'share what they know'. And although there are endless examples, here are but two:

One really great recent example is the OpenPD sessions being run by Darren Draper & Robin Ellis, who run FREE, three hour PD sessions, online, with the most recent one being on "
the inclusion of social software in one's curriculum and instruction"

And I'd be very remise if I did not mention one of the greatest online givers and mentors I've ever met: and that is Sue Waters - who regularly and readily shares all that she knows - and when she doesn't know it - will spend the time to 'source' the information for you.

So why do you openly and freely share what you know?

Is it:

- because you have potential to learn alot more? Icon_star_emptythx @blueverse

Or is it because:

- give a little, get a little back. Reciprocity? thx @skytrystsjoyIcon_star_empty

Well, for me it's about the 'giving of positive energy'. I find by passing on something 'positive', eventually something 'positive' comes back to me - not necessarily directly - but through lots of other means. This 'giving' also provides an excellent 'spring board' into building strong and trusting relationships.

I'm still very intrigued at the open, sharing-ness of the Twitter community. I love the way that Twitterers quickly open their 'hearts and minds' to their fellow Twitterers, and role-model the ideal open online learning community.

So please share: "Why do you openly and freely share what you know?"

1 comment:

Sue Waters said...

What you're facing here is entire mind shift in people's attitudes. We were bought up that knowledge rules and keeping information within an organisation is important to their competitive edge.

Smart organisations now realise the importance of sharing for greater innovation; what to share and what needs to be kept within the organisation. Unfortunately it is hard to make people realise the need for this change. I think all managers should be made to read Wikinomics.

In answer to why I share - why not? Knowledge is not the ruler! It's how we use that knowledge! Providing knowledge doesn't mean others will be able to use it more effectively than you can. Plus the more you share the more you get back.

Thanks for your nice words :)
Sue Waters
Mobile Technology in TAFE"