There has been an interesting trend over the years. Not so obvious, but something I have experienced myself. And that is the fact that people are not sharing other content as much as they use to.
Way back in the blogging days
I remember 13 years plus going back in time. Everyone was creating content via a blog. You found interesting writers and as you grew your own social networks, it was easy to share content that you felt others had created and would be of interest to your readers and followers.
Over time that has changed. And it’s not surprising. When people share content on a social platform, more often than not it’s their own. Or the conversations they drive on social are becoming more centric to themselves. On the flip site, there is very little external content shared.
Then their are WordPress tutorial and media sites, who share the content of others on their site, which is select but also is cool and really their model. But most times they do not share other people’s content on social without driving them to their site first. Again, it’s the traditional model but I think there is room for exceptions.
The same goes for newsletters. Plenty of sharing there, but you must subscribe. I do that but the things I share I have shared publicly on some social platform prior to the newsletter going out.
Now I get this. I understand that we need to focus on our own businesses and ventures. We need to drive people to our sites and consume the content that in the end either makes them a new customer, client or someone who will help you generate advertising dollars. It’s the natural thing to do with you business.
Others, who write more freely may tend to share other content, but again, in most of these cases it’s all about their content.
I will admit this isn’t everyone, but I find those who share other content on the downslide.
Quid pro quid
As this trend grows, so does something that has been around forever, grow as well. You do me a favor, I’ll do you a favor.
Even back in the blogging days people would often create “blogging buddies”. Those people who you traded sharing content with. Over the years as people grew their select “friends” this became obvious that the “buddy buddy system” was in play.
I can recall several small cliques of WordPress people who blatantly only shared from their “special friends.”
On the other hand, sharing has now become partnerships. You know those emails that ask you to share something of theirs (often using a backlink) and in turn they will share your content.
And other’s come up with ideas of how to create these shared, smaller communities, but often they don’t walk the talk, and the concept fizzles out over time.
Less and less people are doing it out of the goodness of their heart.
You don’t have to. And I only write this as an observer. First off I am not making this a rant or a negative post. It’s just what is happening. But I feel I have always found a good balance between sharing my own content and sharing others.
Recently, over on Do the Woo I realized that one of my “so-called super powers” is sharing. And I’ve bumped it up even more. Why? To help others find all this great content that I discovered, help keep them up-to-date on things I feel they should know, and most importantly, to elevate more voices in this ecosystem. All without simply writing a post with internal sharing.
It’s not rocket science when it comes to me deciding what to share or not share. I want it to be good content that is helpful to those who follow me.
What I don’t share is:
Negative or content that is meant to mislead or stir things up.
Or those tweets that have “call to actions” at the end of every thread they do. Sorry, not going to help you promote your newsletter over and over and over again.
What’s the answer?
For me I don’t care. I will share great content and never expect anything in return. I will also continue to share my own content. But I don’t want partnerships, or that “wink wink” syndrome that pushes out quid pro quid.
Now there are people who do it, and I commend them. For the others, what you do is your choice. I’m not here to shame you or make you feel guilty. You do what works for you. But all I can say, is it hurts just a little bit when we transform ourselves into the “me” generation and sharing is no longer caring.
Disclaimer: I know that social these days is viewed as a big shitshow. And I get it. A lot of the reasons may be that more and more people are less and less on social. But hey, there are still plenty who are active and a negative view of any social platform should not be the reason for not sharing.