You’re reading this post for free. If you read my blog often, you’ve read all the other content for free as well. In general, it takes me 30 minutes to an hour to write a post. If I bill at $150/hr at my regular gig, then each post costs me anywhere from $75-$150 to write, assuming that I’m trading billable time for time writing blog posts (not really always true, but lets assume it is for this example).
And I let you read it all for free. Why in the world would I do that?
Well, there are several reasons.
First - I have ideas I want to share. I’m thinking about product development, the internet, strategy, UX, code and other things all the time, coming up with my own points of view. I want to share those with the world, in an effort to help deepen the narrative and provoke interesting discussion. Hey, maybe my ideas will help you do your job better (a big goal of mine)!
Second - I have a personal brand that I want to build based on this thinking, and these ideas. My personal brand is important - it gets me work, exposes me to new and exciting opportunities, and brings me in contact with people that I might be able to make stuff with. All important.
Most people writing on the web are in the same boat. They’re sharing ideas, building a brand, and they’re doing it for absolutely free. It’s easy to take for granted (even I take it for granted from time to time).
So, how can you reward these folks? Simple: share.
Sharing is the currency of the free-content web. Blog posts, news articles, vines, gifs, music - whatever is being created and given away, should be paid for by passing it along.
By sharing a post that someone wrote, you directly help them accomplish those two objectives that I mentioned above. If you enjoyed the post, sharing is the most valuable thing you can do.
It’s easy to forget this. It’s easy to read something, think “Man, that was really interesting, and made me thinking differently! I’m glad I found this!” and then move along. Next time, pause for a moment and think about how you can share it. You’ll get credit among your network for surfacing interesting content, and the author of the post will get the boost they so badly desire.
Why not start with this post?