Two weeks ago (June 22, 2010) Chris Brogan wrote a blog post about "The Beauty of Keeping Information Shareable". In this post he talked about how he releases all content on his blog [chrisbrogan.com] under the Creative Commons license, which means that you can share and reuse my information within reason and with some attribution back to the original post.
He went on to site an example of how one blog reader, Paul Durban, created a cool video out of one of his recent blog posts: 50 Power Twitter Tips. I had read the post and viewed the cool YouTube video that Paul made by using Chris's original information on the day it appeared on Chris's blog.
This triggers my own blog post here for two reasons:
1. Chris is right about making your information shareable and being open to others taking it to new levels, as long as they give attribution. I talk with many authors, blogger, speakers and others who are ultra freaked-out about anyone touching their work, or even quoting them unless they are some how compensated.
While I understand the desire to maintain control over a brand, there are advantages of having the power of other people's creativity expand your own product. It is not only famous people like Chris Brogan who put out interesting nuggets of information that can inspire others, and when we are the catalyst of creativity, everyone wins.
Some are so concerned with their control and compensation early in their career that they are missing out the chance to ever make it out of the basement. Letting other people expand on your ideas can take you to new levels. I encourage anyone who reads my blog to feel free to continue the discussion. Nobody needs to ask me if they can quote me, or use my content as part of something new (as long as they give me credit and a link back!). I try not to "step over $100 bills to pick up pennies"!
I find it interesting how myopic some people are about this topic. Too many people are living in the old media world of needing to have total control of everything related to their products. I like seeing some of the creative things that occur when people connect in random examples (such as this video that was spawned by Chris's blog post).
Just like customer reviews for products and services have extreme power online to influence consumer purchases (think Bazaarvoice), having other expanding your ideas into new vehicles (like the above mentioned video, etc...) has more impact than if Chris had created this video himself.
2. Small world. I know a Paul Durban. I read Chris Brogan blog regularly, and saw this post sighting Paul's creative video... but never made the connection in my own head.
I went to high school with a Paul Durban. THIS PAUL DURBAN! We both grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles, California. He now lives in Nebraska, I live in Texas. We had not really had much contact over 26 years (disclaimer, we have been connected on Facebook for a few months, so he was not totally forgotten). Today he followed me on Twitter, and I clicked over to see his website for his eBook and Video company, Blazonfire. WOW.... he does some amazing things. I called him to tell him I was impressed with both the high quality of his eBooks, but even more with his promotional video production.
Turns out our career are complementary and we should have known that. Now it looks like we may be able to refer business to each other, and I enjoyed hearing more about his creative company, his family, and his vision for the future. He mentioned the above discussed blog post on Brogan's blog, and I remembered having seen it. I went back and looked, and realized his name was in big letters (with a link). Duh!
But think about this folks: 26 years have gone by.... we live thousands of miles in opposite directions from where we grew up, and yet our paths crossed on a blog like ChrisBrogan.com..... and yet we missed the connection (well, I missed it, Paul missed nothing, as I was not mentioned!). How many other amazing people are we just missing? To quote Maxwell Smart; "I missed it by THIS much!"
Just because you have a link to someone on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter does not mean that you are really connected. So much of these social media communities are just over crowded and we do not really mesh with the available opportunities. We are often not looking deep enough at the people with whom we are connected (regardless of how well we know them... or knew them!). Here is someone whom I should have had a conversation with months ago, but I did not see it. Then his name crossed my path in a highly public way, and I did not see it. Sometimes the universe is sending messages and we do not listen.
I do not think it is just me (am I the only moron?). I think "Social Media" (whatever that really is any more) is so filled with BS, that the real gems are right there and few people can see them. We need to take a collective deep breath and look at whom has crossed out paths in life and look for ways to create mutually beneficial relationships where everyone succeeds more!
Have A Great Day.