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The Beauty of Sharing

The Beauty of Sharing

 

This was not intended to be a blog post. It was intended to be spoken idea. Do not be distracted by spelling or wording that might not be properly adapted to the blog format. I have deliberately left it as unedited as possible.

This is what I consider an idea worth sharing.

 


 

The Beauty of Sharing

 

Would you sell your bible?

You don’t need the money, but you happen to meet someone who you know could use the message. You have something they need, the value is understood, so really all the ingredients of a great deal.

So would you sell them your bible?

 

Before you answer – let’s reach back in history for a moment to draw on inspiration.

 

{Past}

 

# 1 Romans

Just over 2000 years ago, looking to improve living conditions for it’s citizens, Roman architects perfected the construction of the aqueduct. The Aqueducts are stone pillars that transported water many kilometres into Rome’s bustling cities.

What would have happened if the Romans, worried about their constructions being copied, chose not to build the aqueduct?

 

# 2 Renaissance

The Renaissance was a period in time between the 14th and 17th centuries where pioneers of both art and science were challenging the old and accepted ways of thinking. As their knowledge went against the teachings of the church, many of these pioneering minds risked death, to share their discoveries with everyone.

Even the risk of losing their lives did not stop many of them from sharing their ideas.

 

#3 The San Bushmen

Closer to home, hundreds and thousands of years ago the San bushmen who inhabited Southern Africa decorated caves with paintings of animals and other aspects of everyday life.

Were the San people being compensated for documenting their way of life?

 

We are here today because people before us believed in the beauty of freely sharing what they knew. Civilisations that shared, grew.

 


 

{present}

 

How are we applying the beauty of sharing today, here, now?

We are more connected today than ever before. The technology of the smartphone leveraged with the power of the internet has shortened the gaps between us and our neighbours to this, just a few clicks. The irony here is that I have never had this many, friends …. yet at the same time felt so isolated.

Let’s look at how we can connect with our neighbours online

 

# 1 Blogging

Sharing of your ideas online, at regular intervals, this could be every day, week or month.

 

# 2 eBooks

These are longer ideas, fact or fiction shared in an electronic form that encourages dissemination. eBooks are easier to monetize by leveraging the reach of online bookstores, such as Amazon.

 

# 3 Social Media

Bad

We are all intimately aware of the negative side to social media, the abc’s.

  • Abuse of friends and loved ones or people we might not even know.

  • Bullying of colleagues and class mates.

  • Being Cut-off This is what I consider the most unfortunate side-affect.

 

Good

However social media also has a good story to share.

Whether it benefits you in your immediate locality such as my local iLoveParkhurst Facebook group that is full of safety related updates from concerned citizens, Or a provincially focussed group, such as the South African Freelancers Association that shares ideas, advice and jobs among its members.

On a National level, the recent protests identified by the unique social tag of #FeesMustFall brought the pain of excessive tuition fees burdening our university students onto our phones, and into our workplace and homes.

 

What makes the sharing of today more beautiful than ever?

 

# 1 Democratic

The janitor and the CEO have access to most of the same online resources. Painful and dividing issues of class, location and race are ignored.

 

# 2 Address current weaknesses in our education system

  1. Lessons shared online are highly focused on specific topics. This opposed to the dusty knowledge dragged out of old textbooks.

  2. Lessons are location-independent. no distant classrooms are needed. Your home is transformed into your classroom.

  3. Many learning resources offer their knowledge, free of charge. The costs of school uniforms and transportation are transformed into the cost of airtime.

 

# 3 Profitable

Whether monetizing your blog through the use of paid advertising, or reaching your readers through eBooks, or increasing brand awareness using social media, sharing your knowledge online has not just been made easier, it’s made profitable.

 

Introspection

In the next several days, what do you think you are more likely to find yourself sharing? Educational content, or rather a controversial news headline that flashes across your computer screen?

Be aware of the content you are posting and sharing and how that shared information impacts others.

 


 

{future}

 

Why has the kindle of our hungry minds not yet met the flames of knowledge dancing across the online landscape?

Looking ahead, these are the most important missing catalysts needed to encourage sharing.

 

#1 Acceptance

Firstly as Africans we need to strive to be accepted as equal citizens of the internet. Too often listing your country of residence as an African country immediately reduces the available online options.

A painful example of this online isolation, cripples African writers who choose to share their stories by publishing eBooks through Amazon. Our authors have no direct method of receiving their royalties. Instead we wait, and pray as the royalties are sent via our post offices. I am still waiting for my first check.

To drive the point home further the eager readers of these African books are then penalized by Amazon who adds a $2 surcharge to the cost of the eBook that in no way benefits the author.

The good news is that as the African internet renaissance is becoming evident to the world, so too are the bans on our online participation slowly being lifted.

 

#2 Visibility of role models

The second catalyst for our sharing revolution is the visibility of our role-models. We need to know more about Africans who already earn an income, sharing online. Whether a blogger/ author or Youtuber these people need to be celebrated like rock-stars and placed on pedestal, as proof to a disenfranchised population. Look, you can do it, these people are.

Maybe you are thinking you are not smart enough to earn an income sharing online? Search Youtube for Suzelle DIY and see a great example of someone who educates and entertains in the same video. Why would Suzelle be sharing these helpful videos free of charge?  Youtube helps it’s content creators monetize these views. This leads us into our final catalyst, Profit.

 

#3 Profits

I will illustrate the potential for profits by using a personal example. Just over two years ago I started blogging. My reasons for starting were initially a business decision, I need to reach as many people as possible at a low cost.

Fast Forward two years and through sharing online I have been able to help thousands of writers better understand the complex world of self-publishing online. The point I really want to highlight is that I make a living sharing. Monetizing my blog’s visits through methods like carefully placed adverts, and not monetizing the content itself, I avoid hurting those who might not be able to afford to learn.  I am earning an income while freely helping my readers achieve their own definitions of success.

 


 

{Call to Action}

 

Here is what I want you to take away from our shared time before I leave.
The small ways that you can help foster the sharing revolution.

 

# 1 Be a role model

Whether you are a part time blogger/ author or just love social media, remember you have a responsibility to lay your brain bare. Share what you know with those who hunger for the knowledge of your niche.

 

# 2 – Actively educate

Every person is an expert at something, do not underestimate the value of what you know.  Share what you know with those who want to learn. You do not know when the seeds of our knowledge will find fertile ground.

 

# 3 – Celebrate

Every success started small. Every full-time blogger grew from a passionate weekend-warrior. Where you find these people freely sharing online, join the conversion by leaving comments or sharing the content with those around you. You have no idea how much your constructive feedback and appreciation mean to us.

 

So would you sell your bible to someone who needed it?

I can’t answer for everyone, but I wouldn’t, I believe so strongly in the power of the message contained on it’s pages that I would gladly give it away. I hope that I am not alone in this choice.

 

Thank you.

 


 

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