Why Sharing Matters

Sharing stories in Google Reader If I didn’t have Becky McCray sharing stories she found interesting via her Google Reader account, and if I weren’t connected to Becky so that I could see her shared items, I’d miss stories about how the federal government is doing with its commitment to rural broadband.

That’s a Becky story because it has “rural” in the name, and Becky is the small business champion of the rural world. Having Becky as part of my sharing network means that she’ll find the good stuff that I need to know without me eating up all my cycles reproducing all Becky’s efforts.

When I want financial stories, or fringe stories that will no doubt change the business world, I’m lucky that I have Christopher S. Penn in my stream. I also read shared items by Justin Levy, and Bryce Moore and several hundred other people, on top of the few hundred blogs I’m currently subscribed to overall (I’ve just recently trimmed it down a bit, in favor of sharing).

Sharing Moves Information to Us More Effectively

It might not be efficient (as sometimes, people share things that don’t interest us), but it’s very effective to have many people finding interesting stories instead of doing all the work yourself. It’s an ecosystem, a living reef of information, and it’s up to us to find the good stuff. It’s even nicer when your sharing can shift between systems. Let me explain with a quick drawing:

Mind map portraying how sharing goes into the system and gets picked up by others

I share by staring in Google Reader. I hit “Shift S” every time I want to share a story. A few things happen at that point: people who are subscribed to my Shared Items get the story. People connected to me via Google Buzz get the story. People who follow @broganmedia on Twitter get the story. And then other people might move the story along further.

Sharing, as I’ve pointed out, is effective.

Sharing Adds a Value to the Larger Tapestry

I share in other ways. I use Delicious.com to keep track of all the case studies I find interesting. Sometimes, these are just surveys and reports, but then, they’re building blocks for creating case studies.

I do as much sharing publicly as I can, but things that are private or mission sensitive I share via products like Google Wave, so that a much more limited set of people will see. But even then, I try to keep the sharing going, and I keep the sharing in the cloud instead of local to a specific machine.

Put simply, if you’re living in bookmarks, you’re not doing your part. Sharing’s where it’s at. It’s how we’ll find the good stuff.

Ever notice the bottom of every one of my blog posts? Tons of ways to share. It’s part of the game.

See the “Like” button in the comments section? That shares with your Facebook list, as well.

Sharing matters.

So, how are you sharing? What else are you doing to move things along? Where do you share?

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  • http://www.myfjordz.com/ fjordz

    sharing really matters because it delivers instant stories to people who may need the article the most.

    I'm promoting my blog ATBP! > http://ht.ly/1SqUN hope you can support it on Emerging Influential Blogs > http://ht.ly/1SqTS thanx!

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    I love using Delicious to bookmark articles I find useful (on blogging, social media, case studies, etc.). When someone asks me a question on either topic, I often say: “I have a few articles that might help…” and I send 'em a link to Delicious. I share my own stuff via pdfs, posts, etc. But it's not always about me and it's nice when you bring outside resources too for more perspective.

  • Saki

    Good that you said that we can follow your shared items on Google Reader :)
    Google Reader is great medium for sharing, also Digg, reddit, Mixx, slashdot which I use are great mediums too.

  • http://twitter.com/vincentleleux Vincent Leleux

    Great post Chris
    I love sharing and it's always amazing how more I am sharing more interesting stories I find in my streams.
    I LOVE what you say and do, keep up.

  • 1IndyPenDanceLLC

    Hey Chris, kind of on and off topic at the same time—wanted to share my congratulations; saw Chris Brogan of New Media Labs, quoted in the NYT as an advisor to Starbucks. Thanks for advising them to provide free wifi. Good move.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Sharing is like fuel that feeds ideas. Every time I read something shared by another I am inspired in some way. The more we share, the more we grow and learn + the better we connect. It's a great system.

  • http://twitter.com/1to1Discovery Juli Monroe

    I mostly share on Twitter or via my business Facebook page. Sometimes if a post is particularly good (or I disagree with it), I'll share it via my blog, with some perspective added by me. Guilty as charged on keeping some content to myself. But not with bookmarks. I clip posts I want to refer to later into Evernote.

  • http://www.twitter.com/prbristolblog PRBristolblog

    The news finds us, we are less and less finding the news!

    I love Delicious for sharing useful (work) stuff, this a a great filter from the ton of content on Google (that I don't have time to trawl through) and keep an eye on my Facebook feed for fun and interesting articles. I subscribe to a small number of fan pages for the same reason. I notice that this has really increased a lot due to the 'like' buttons on the net. I trust my close friends and family a lot (naturally) so I will always read this stuff.

    For anything I miss there is always Twitter! Would I have come so far in my learning without it? Or of found you? I doubt it!

    PS: Loving Disqus to keep track of the global conversation and tips on my blog network.

    Keep up the good work. You are making a lot of sense :)

  • http://www.ann-sense.com/ Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

    I remember before social media. I'd clip articles out of magazines and papers sending them to friends… then we'd talk about them over the phone or gasp over letters… social media has made sharing so much easier allowing us to share more with more people quicker.

  • http://twitter.com/andreastenberg Andrea J. Stenberg

    I share mainly with Twitter, although I also use Facebook, Delicious and Stumbleupon plus Skype to very close friends.

    I'm going to explore the Google Reader option now that you mention it. I use it for reading but have never looked at the sharing feature. Yet another reason to use Google.

  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    Chris –

    “See the “Like” button in the comments section? That shares with your Facebook list, as well.” Not sure I follow. How does hitting the like button share with my Facebook list? It doesn't post anything to FB does it? What am I missing? Help!

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

  • http://outthink.co.za Darren Gorton

    Sharing has its great value in niche areas, and I do find it difficult to target articles using social media as there are some which are applicable to only specific twitter followers or facebook friends – in the end you share and hope it reaches the right people.

    Agree fully that Google Reader is the best starting point – from there into twitter and facebook via ping.fm or friendfeed. Posterous is also useful for capturing specific articles as you come across them and then posting onto twitter and facebook too. Seems most of it revolves around those two platforms with the other tools just playing a role.

  • http://carlnatale.com Carl Natale

    For some reason I find it easier and more valuable to share things via Google Reader than Twitter. It becomes a mini-blog for me. I hope others find it just as valuable.

    I do like your strategy Chris in using different sites for sharing different types of content. Find what works for you and your network.

    BTW, I'm sharing business advice and tips – weighted toward freelancing – at http://www.google.com/reader/shared/carlnatale

    Let me know if you find it valuable.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    Huh. I thought it was posting to FB like. Will have to test further. : /

  • http://www.brosix.com/ Brosix

    I only use Delicious for private bookmarks I want to remember later, and then use Digg and StumbleUpon for more public things I want to share. However, the best content I find is shared on Twitter.

    • http://www.twitter.com/prbristolblog PRBristolblog

      Interesting as I like to use Delicious to share in groups. I have found that StumbleUpon is good for traffic.

      Digg is great but still learning how to getting to know how to best leverage this for the best results. Any tips much appreciated.

    • http://www.twitter.com/prbristolblog PRBristolblog

      Interesting as I like to use Delicious to share in groups. I have found that StumbleUpon is good for traffic.

      Digg is great but still learning how to getting to know how to best leverage this for the best results. Any tips much appreciated.

  • Lisa Alvey

    Nice post. I completely agree with the sharing idea. In fact, I wrote a post on sharing yesterday (http://blogs.fresno.edu/communications/2010/06/… ), but my twist was on the importance of sharing for knowledge sake and a little less on the actual tools.

    Thanks for the thoughts, I enjoy reading them!

  • Saki

    I know it goes to my Wall every time I like something.

  • Jackie Cameron

    Thanks for this Chris. It has got me thinking. Many members of my community are relatively new to social media but want to catch up quickly ( I know that this sounds wierd…but it's more common that we think!). I find that sharing by what is probably pretty “old school” methods of sending a link through an e-mail – or linkedin, facebook (and somewhat less so – Twitter) – can move them along to the point where they are confident to stride out and experiment on their own – and then start sharing back. So exciting when that happens. That sort of sharing helps me by raising my profile and has the potential to help them in their businesses…win -win.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ The JackB

    I am a big proponent of sharing. One of the best lessons I learned early on was to stop trying to reinvent the wheel for everything I do. Far easier to adopt successful techniques/habits of others and adapt them to my needs.

    Sharing is a big part of that.

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    FYI: In Google Reader, click Feed Settings, and Sort By Magic.

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  • Carol Roy

    A point of view, shifted from media to metaphysical…..

    Sharing, which brings you new information every day, also provides a platform from which you can construct a new point of view. Sharing opens a door into another person's experience and, if you listen, can broaden your own.

    In the broader sense, sharing can stop wars, start romances, and lift spirits out of the dumps.

    Have you shared today? :-)

  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    It's shows under my recent activity. “DJ likes …” but I'm not sure that is really sharing it with my stream/friends/list, right?

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

  • Carol Roy

    PS Chris….thanks for sharing ;o)

  • http://twitter.com/Fraserstrategy Jeff Maystruck

    Great story Chis, personally I use Netvibes reader, and the more I use it the more I find myself telling others to do the same. Twitter is the big one for me now, the first six months I was spinning my wheels trying to find traction, I think that's when I started sharing more, and now I can't live without Twitter. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    I've never seen that before. : )

  • http://twitter.com/AlBoxallGordon Al Boxall Gordon

    Thanks for simplifying something so very complicated to get your head around. Thank goodness Google reader and Twitter do all the hard work for you. Just one question. I can't get my head around how control S would share with Twitter. Do you put your Twitter account settings into Google Reader somewhere? I've been using a different feed reader, but can see the benefits of moving across.

  • Judy Helfand

    Hi Chris,
    I have been busy today sharing with my clients, my family, my team; however, just a few minutes ago Mack Collier tweeted the following: Interesting feedback on how single bloggers are monetizing their blog. #blogchat – http://bit.ly/bSvMX9
    I hope you will have time to visit Blogging With Amy's post “How Much Do Real Blogger's Actually Make?” This post and the comments are what I call real sharing.
    Mack's tweet is so benign. I would love your input.

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  • http://www.dan-menard.com/ Dan M

    Choosing where to share something is actually something I find kind of difficult sometimes, as I often have several sharing tools to choose from and there are different people (but with some overlap) in each. The main issue is that if I share in several places, I feel like I'm spamming the overlap of those groups, but if I share in only once place, I'm not reaching as many people. Is there a good solution to this problem?

    I wrote more about this dilemma on my blog: http://www.dan-menard.com/2010/05/24/the-conten

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  • http://www.getinthehotspot.com/ Get In The Hot Spot

    Hi Al, looks like me and you then:) Tried to figure it out but can't. Any kind geeks out there who want to explain to us how we use Shift S to share google reader stuff on Twitter?! Thanks:)

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  • willamtarker

    Sharing always matter and this is because you can get more friends and even they will share without any condition. I love to share and get more and more feedback from them.
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  • http://www.searchengineoptimisation.com Phil

    I am big fan of both Google Reader and Twitter, sometimes not have time to visit each blog, so its good to read the headlines from each in these RSS readers and be in touch with new stories

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  • Andrew

    I really enjoyed this. I never thought about sharing this way but I think it’s really cool.

    You also opened my eyes for new ways to share.

    Tom Martin Shared this with me!

    Thank You!

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