Are you a good digital citizen? One of my favourite Bloggers, Chris Brogan, recently discussed on-line “neighbourhoods” in his Podcast (it’s well worth a listen) and it got me to thinking about my own on-line activities.
On a day-to-day basis I read a ton of really useful blog posts that energize me to do more, I listen to Podcasts and watch YouTube videos that educate and inspire me, I follow folk on Twitter who share content I’d never have found otherwise and I download valuable free eBooks that I’d happily have paid for.
So the on-line community of which I am a digital citizen helps me in so many ways. But how often do I say thank-you to content creators, educators and those who inspire me? Is it possible that I take all this abundantly wonderful content for granted? And if so, what can I do to improve my levels of appreciation and show my fellow digital citizens that I value them?
One way I try to be a good digital citizen is by creating content myself – like this blog post, and I’m very fortunate in that I get a lot of very kind feedback on a regular basis – but do I let the creators of the content I consume everyday know that I appreciate them? I think it’s something I need to do more of. How about you?
Eight Tips on being a better digital citizen
- If you read a great blog article, leave a comment sharing the thoughts it has provoked in you or even a simple “Thank-you”.
- If you listen to a fab Podcast, drop the creator an e-mail to say thank-you.
- Overcome the worry that you’ll be bothering someone by sharing good feedback with them. Trust me, nobody minds opening an e-mail containing kind words about their work.
- If you spot a problem on a web-site, let the owner know so she can fix it. They won’t be upset you pointed out a mistake but will be grateful you gave them the chance to fix it.
- If you read a good book, support the author and share a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
- If you find great content on Twitter and re-share it, give both the creator and the source credit (e.g. Tweet “Ten Tips for Winning Business – xyz.com – @ForbesInc via @JoeBloggs)
- Could you leave a LinkedIn recommendation for someone who has helped you?
- If you get value from an e-mail newsletter, let the sender know this.
It’s probably very easy to assume that all the wonderful content that we consume on-line will continue indefinitely and that we can appreciate it in silence forever. And to be honest, it might well be that we can.
But in my experience it’s much more satisfying to pause regularly and say “Thank-You”.
Is being a good digital citizen important to you and if so, why?