Thursday, July 20, 2006


Steve Rubel says in his blog Micro Persuasion: Only Generous Bloggers Influence and I agree.
The generosity dynamic that exists in the blogosphere is really important.

Micro Persuasion: Only Generous Bloggers Influence

Being generous is an act of creativity. In an interesting way, blog generosity is, in my opinion, a good metaphor for how generosity works in life-off-the-Web.

There's no way around it. You have to lavishly dish out links, advice, news, ideas, commentary, freebies, you name it. It's up to you.

Micro Persuasion: Only Generous Bloggers Influence

When you help people connect with others or ideas relevant to what they want to/need to do, you help them create by linking them. That can happen on the Web, and, as I said before, in life-off-the-Web. This is also the pattern that makes a good teacher or learning community member. I think it is more innate or socially patterned in some people than others; I also think it can be learned.

A major difference between generosity on and off the Web is that in life-off-the-Web generous people can be burned. I remember, in my late twenties, feeling really ripped off by a few people whom I had been friendly and generous to, but who just didn't bother to help a mutual friend when it would have been easy to. I started feeling like I had been designated "the server of others" by them. I decided to try to limit my generosity to those who I had received generosity from, or whom I had seen being generous to others.

Maybe I'm making an artificial distinction between life on and off the Web. Rubel also notes about selfish bloggers and reacts much like I did -

They focus solely on themselves and not an iota on others. I have unsubscribed from all of these blogs. They're just not worth my time.

Micro Persuasion: Only Generous Bloggers Influence

Targeting  my generosity is the choice I make. I don't want to throw my energy into the service of the greedy and neglectful. I try to be conscious of receiving generosity, and only welcome those who also share.

There are also, though,  the free gifts to the universe, and that are both generosity and something that is spiritual. WebToolsforLearners, for example, is my attempt to share what I know to anyone, generous or not, who might want to learn more about using Web 2.0 for themselves, their associations, and for teaching. And the Web is filled with people offering that kind of generosity, and I hope that spirit continues to be a major part of the Web culture.

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