Why & How I share what I'm doing / finding

I am a big advocate for sharing information, be it personal or more business-oriented information. I share information from experiences at restaurants, what I thought of books I have read, where I am, links to things I think are interesting, productivity tips, experiences with programming languages and the list goes on. There is obviously also information that I do not share widely (if at all) due to confidentiality reasons, or if I do share it I only share it to a closed community.

Why?

I share information for a number of reasons, including:
  1. Sharing enables others to learn from my experiences.
  2. I can learn from others, and by Sharing this lets others know what I am up to or what information I am finding that I think is interesting. I may not even know initially that they have knowledge or interests in a particular area.
  3. Communities of Interest and Friendships evolve by finding people with similar interests. If you don’t convey to others what your interests are, you are closing out a potentially large community of people.
  4. Sharing in a written form (in particular with blog entries) enables me to write down what is otherwise a bunch of ideas and thoughts in my mind that could do with a little more structure and bit more focussed thought. These can then be good for me to refer back to or to direct others to.
  5. The Conversations that can arrive through sharing information are often great at challenging me to look at things from different angles and further my thinking and knowledge.
  6. Being able to catch-up with people in person can be easier if you know you will be (or are) in the same place at the same time.

How?

There are a large number of ways I share information, but in terms of those I use most days:
  1. Coffee & Lunch with work colleagues – you never do know what conversations will emerge on a daily basis, what debates will occur and that’s half the enjoyment of it.
  2. Twitter – for a description of Twitter see ‘So what is this Twitter you keep going on about?’.
  3. Delicious – this is a Social Bookmarking tool whereby you can save your bookmarks for everybody to see and target them for certain people; I would share over 99% of what I bookmark.
  4. Google Reader – this is an RSS reader (which essentially means that new stuff on sites I am interested in from all over the Internet comes to me as opposed to me having to go to each individual site to see what has changed) which allows me to share articles of interest with those who are following what I share.
  5. Yammer – for a description of Yammer see ‘Yammer & Laconi.ca: Enterprise Status Updates / Microblogging’.
  6. Facebook – I respond to Comments others have made on my Wall or to other Status updates, but do not typically update the Status Message or Share any information via Facebook directly; instead these are aggregated from various other sources of information I use, such as Twitter (for the status update), Flickr, Google Reader, Delicious, YouTube, Last.fm, Friendfeed, Slideshare etc. and they just magically arrive at Facebook.
  7. Instant Messenger / Email / Sharepoint / Phone / Face-to-face – standard tools for communication at work.

On a bit more of an ad-hoc basis, some of the other ways I share information:
  1. Blogging – For Food & Wine, where Jane & I have travelled to, and in general more Personal / Family topics I write blog entries at http://sinnjoy.blogspot.com . For more Technical and Business related material I write blog entries at http://gianouts.blogspot.com .
  2. LinkedIn – I try and keep my Resume up to date on LinkedIn to enable people to know what roles and activities I have been involved in. I have also recently also added a Book Review onto my Amazon profile.
  3. Tweetups – These are a gathering of people who are on Twitter to meet up in real life, have a coffee or beer (depending on the location) and chat about whatever. I have attended a couple of them so far. If you are in Auckland on Twitter there is a Facebook group you can join up to find out about or schedule the next catchup called the Auckland Twitter Meetup.
  4. Barcamps / Unconferences / Foo Camps – Unconferences are conferences where the attendees set the agenda at the start of the conference. I have attended a couple of Unconferences now (Barcamp Auckland 2 and TelecomONE Innovation) and these are great opportunities to share and learn. See ‘Barcamp Auckland 2 Synopsis’ for more information about the first one I attended. I will also be attending the New Zealand Foo Camp (aka Baa Camp) this year and will probably make it to the Auckland Barcamp and TelecomONE Innovation unconference (once some dates are set).
  5. Dopplr – I occasionally update my travel information so that I can see if my travel plans overlap with others I know. Since I don’t have many others I know using Dopplr or any other similar tools, this has limited my usage of this.
  6. Amazon – Very occasionally I will write a review for a book I have read.
  7. Plaxo – in the same way that Facebook is updated, Plaxo purely operates as a lifestream aggegrator for me.
  8. Blog Comments – I will sometimes respond to other people’s blog posts with my views which may be simply agreeing with what they have said. Most people thrive on positive encouragement and constructive feedback, and this is a way of encouraging them to keep posting.

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