When I was a kid and later when I became a parent, sharing was one of those things everyone put an emphasis on. Share your toys, share your snacks, share with the class, share with your support group. It is constantly pounded into us that sharing was the right thing to do. Later in life, I took a number of jobs where sharing became important. In the military, we shared our ammunition, we shared our food, we shared letters from home and most importantly, we shared information that helped the unit. Later in life I worked in places where sharing code I wrote or scripts I created was part of the routine.
As I mentioned in my post on collaboration, I specialized in a technology where share was literally in the name when I picked up SharePoint. The idea that information must be shared for us to advance as a team, as a community or as a species is incredibly important. That’s not to say that we have to share everything. All of us have plenty of things we keep private and all of us have that one friend who overshares, right? Oversharing notwithstanding, sharing is usually built into the mores and norms of our societies.
At YourKnow, we made sharing a part of our mantra for a simple reason. Everything we have talked about so far with consuming, collaborating and creating is all for nothing if we have no way to share what we have made. Ideas and information can’t be exchanged if we don’t put it out there for others to discover (spoiler alert for the next post) and consume. Others can’t take what we have put out there and build on it if we don’t actually put it out there.
YourKnow makes this easy whether you are working in a group with other folks or you are using the “Just Me” feature and writing on your own in a private space. Once you have something you are ready to share, you just open the context menu and click on “Publish” and the wizard walks you through publishing it where you want it to live. Once done, it is available for anyone to read and comment on anywhere in the world for free. You still own it, we just make it available for others.
Join YourKnow for FREE today and Share Your Story. I know I am excited to read what people just like you are willing to share with me and I hope you are too.
I am not necessarily an inventive person. I don’t often come up with original ideas on my own. If someone points me in a direction, I can be incredibly creative in building upon that idea. Bring me an idea for a new software program and I can take that idea and build very creative solutions for implementation. I say this as an introduction to the third tenet of our mantra, create.
Creation is more than coming up with original ideas or inventions. It is taking a seed and planting it, nurturing it and growing it into something real and tangible. The concept of creation builds upon the first 2 tenets of consuming and collaborating. The YourKnow founder, Raefer Andrews, is always coming up with some new inventive idea. They flow from him on an almost daily basis. Put him together with our other founder, Alfred Adams, and they just feed off of each other. Actually creating something from those ideas requires a team to execute that vision. We consume information which leads to new ideas. Then we collaborate on those ideas to determine the path forward. Finally, we create something from the ideas.
YourKnow facilitates this by bringing together people across social, racial, religious, gender and age groups with a common topic to create something that wasn’t there before. You don’t have to be an expert in all of the nuances of the topic at hand, you just need to start or join a group that focuses on the things you are passionate about and contribute. This creates new content for others to consume and feeds more ideas and constantly perpetuates the process.
There are the thinkers and there are the doers and together they build something greater than either of them can build alone.
In 2004, I took a position as a .Net developer focused on a fairly new technology called SharePoint. What intrigued me about the SharePoint platform was the concept of technology focused on collaboration. Sure, there had been other products that helped people communicate and store data such as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and Oracle Portal, but there hadn’t been anything that I had used with collaboration built into its core mission. It was still a relatively unknown technology at the time but would shape the next decade and a half of my life.
Years later I was offered a position as a SharePoint Architect which later morphed into working with all content management systems across 30 different business units. I began to see what all of these systems had in common and what all of these systems seemed to lack. While they all attempted to get people to consolidate and share data, documents and ideas, none of them actually facilitated bringing people together at the same time to focus on their collaborative efforts. It trusted that the collective would work together as necessary and didn’t enforce any structure or timing for this effort.
YourKnow has some similarities to the others, as all content systems should, but it is different.
Bring people together at the same time to collaborate in real time sessions.
Create an event, invite members and then actually sit around a virtual table (or lounge in a virtual coffee shop if that’s more your style) and see what people are typing into the shared document.
Pass the virtual pen around to those who want to write and everyone can see what they are writing as they write it.
Discussions can go on in the chat window.
Files can be uploaded and added to the draft you are working on.
Continuing events can be scheduled and additional members can join the session.
Offline events for real-world meetings.
Foster groups that collaborate right away and build documents and writings in the moment.
In all of the years I have worked in IT, I have been one of those people who tried to collaborate and bring others into my projects. This takes the face-to-face pressure out of the equation and caters to both introverts and extroverts. You can find groups of people who want to work with you and others to build something new.
Want to know what groups are waiting for you and bring your passions to the virtual table?
At YourKnow we have a simple mantra that influences everything we do: consume, collaborate, create, share and discover. The next couple of posts will discuss what these 5 principles mean to us and how this influences what we put into the platform and share with others.
The first tenet of the mantra is “consume”. This is probably the easiest one to explain as there is no way to learn new things without embracing new information. When I first started in the IT world, I took a seminar on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit 2 is to “begin with the end in mind”. That is what we have tried to do here. While consuming information seems like it should be the last item in our mantra, it is what charges us and pushes us to create. It is the end goal of everything we are doing to cultivate minds.
Reading new ideas, thoughts and musings helps to expand out horizons and take us to new levels of understanding. When we open ourselves up to new ways of thinking, we open the door to new possibilities and experiences. Not everyone can travel the world and experience diverse cultures easily but we can read and share in those experiences through other’s eyes. This is what has made platforms like YouTube and Instagram so popular. But visual platforms can only convey so much while the written word can lend meaning to the pictures and videos and do more than just show us what a place looked like.
As a voracious reader who is constantly trying to find new and exciting things to read each day, I am excited to see what is available as YourKnow matures and the membership grows. From biography to fiction to politics to cooking, the possibilities are endless.