Social Networks - more than just a status
1 February 2013
Let me start off with two personal details about myself:
I have lived in Tel Aviv all my life and have been driving my own car for over six years. Despite the parking space hardship and traffic jams I have always preferred a vehicle than public transportation, even when a bus is available right under my house.
I enjoy social networks. More as a viewer and reader than a sharer and publisher. I have nothing against those, on the contrary: I learn a lot from what others share, it's just that I'm not so sure that what I have to say is so interesting.
And what do these two facts have to do with each other?
My car's yearly check up arrived precisely on the day I was supposed to meet clients out of town. I was forced to use the public transportation and thus felt lost. Luckily, my Smartphone and search abilities assisted me in discovering a new Social Network mobile application named Tranzmate (Moovit) that offers detailed information on any transportation-related subject. It is possible to find information including: how to get from one point to another, a detailed description regarding the location of the bus stop and how to get to it, when the bus is expected to arrive, and a waking route from the moment you get off the bus till you arrive at your designated destination. Furthermore, the application is a Social Network for sharing relevant knowledge. The user can share and report the situation in the field: the bus is running late, the bus/ bus station is crowded. The user can rate the driver and bus safety and hygiene level.
There are many available applications that offer and are based in social sharing (such as the popular Waze application). The fact that I am not a social sharer (as mentioned above) rather more a spectator made me think: why do some people share and others don’t? Why do people share via Social Networks than "professional networks" at the work place? What do we gain by this? And should I personally change my habit, i.e. share more? And where more: the social or professional networks?
While pondering on the subject, I read an article written by a KM manager from IBM titled: Why Do I Share My Knowledge?
Here's some point to ponder on which I think are worth sharing:
During the last few decades society has been raised on the sentence "knowledge is the power" and if we let go of the knowledge, we lose the power. Nevertheless, the will to connect, to belong and cooperate with people through Knowledge Sharing is part of human nature and luckily society is being proven wrong: on the contrary, Knowledge Sharing is power. This is increasingly proven by today's Social Networks-sharing empowers the citizen, the consumer, as well as the layman by providing a suitable platform for expressing ideas and thoughts and receive responses quickly.
The professional field: "sharing=helping"
According to the article, the main reason people share knowledge at the workplace is that they view the sharing as a reputation-enhancing gift; my personal feeling as a person and a worker and knowing that by sharing the knowledge I contributed to my peers and workplace, is an uplifting that enhances one's self esteem and sense of belonging to said workplace.
There just might be something spiritual about this ordeal: we all want to eternalize our memory, to leave some sort of legacy after we are long gone (from the workplace). Undoubtedly, to be active in a Social Network will leave something, at least a few pictures. Creating a professional legacy, on the other hand, that will contribute to the workplace and workers year ahead, has great value. I decided to share more with my colleagues.
Maybe the phrase "smile and the world will smile back at you" applies to sharing as well: "share and the world will share with you".
What do you think?