Archive for January, 2013

On citing sources

Posted by on Wednesday, 30 January, 2013

IMG_5607A year and a half ago, I blogged about the “Social Stewardship of Sharing“, in which I highlighted a best practice of thanking the person from whom you shared a post. In that post I made one huge assumption, one which I shouldn’t have made: assuming source credit is already in the post.

But I am not I am going to talk about assigning source credit when you share content and the source isn’t already evident or attributed. Those topics have already been discussed in far better detail than I could provide. To figure out how, here’s three good blog posts to get you on your way:

So, instead of telling you how to cite sources of shared content, I’d rather tell you WHY it is a good idea:

First and foremost, if you aren’t citing often this can become either plagiarism or outright stealing of visual content; simple but important violations of copyright. This occurs whenever you post content without citations or links to the originating source and create the perception that you created the content yourself without rights to do so.

If that isn’t enough to at least make you want to think about citing the source, perhaps some of the softer side reasons will resonate more:

  • The most simple is that it provides direct credit to the person who created the content, which helps to build up their reputation without diminishing your own.
  • Secondarily, it provides you value as a curator of good content, and builds your trustworthiness to do the right thing when it comes to social sharing.
  • Like my original blog post also outlines: the third, and more global reason, is the sense of social stewardship. Providing that value to others (be it the person who created the content, or those with whom you are sharing) builds your own social karma. Helping others achieve their own goals is a great way to achieve your own success.

Just like thanking a person for an original share, crediting the source of creation is also a form of social currency, where a link noting credit acts as payment for being able to reshare it yourself (given appropriate copyright abilities of course). In time, you’ll find that others will begin doing the same for you and the content you create.

Being a good social citizen is the first step to reaping the benefits of social sharing.

A weekend jaunt to Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Posted by on Wednesday, 23 January, 2013

This past weekend I took one last opportunity to use our pass to Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum to check out some of their updated exhibits and take a slew of photographs. Rather than blather on about social business topics as I have recently, here’s a quick respite in the form of some of the shots I captured while out at Evergreen. You may have already seen a few of these shared on my G+ profile or over on my WaywardCelt Photography Facebook page… but not all of them 😉

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My top 5 strengths- redux

Posted by on Thursday, 17 January, 2013

gallup_top5Thanks to the wonders of the hive-mind, I’ve found a suitable solution to my prior post on my top 5 strengths and the difficulties I encountered when going to share them through a blog post. Previously, I’d been unable to locate any content that was shareable to provide context around my top 5 themes. From the strength finder site where I obtained my results, everything that provided this greater context and understanding of definitions was locked behind a paid and copyrighted report labeled unshareable by the terms of use.

Well, my friend and business partner @coreybowers came to the rescue and quickly located the definitions I was seeking. While still protected by copyright, I can now link off to each one in a publicly accessible way to provide that context to discussion that makes blog posts like this more relevant and valuable. I urge you to click-through and read the explanations for each term to help my own opinion and thought on the strengths become a bit more clear to you. Before I continue, I will say that I believe Gallup has some confused business strategies, or at best is not enabling the sharing of contextual information like it could from their strengths finder site and is hindering their business more than helping it. Sharing is caring, folks… make it easy to share and your content will spread. Make it difficult and only people like me who are bound and determined to share will find a (legal and ethical) way, the rest just won’t bother.

Without further ado, here are my previously identified strengths with definitions and context behind the links, and further discussion from my own perspective in the bullets below:

  • Relator: It is no surprise to me that this was the strength in the first slot. Interpersonal relationship have always been deeply critical for me and a source of nearly all of my success in business and in life. Because of this strength I am often asked my opinion, though I admittedly share it even before I can be asked in many situations. What really spoke to me, however, was the reliance on character and personality than status or job title, a trait I’ve carried with me long before I ever entered the corporate world, and one which while seen as a strength here has also likely cause me problems in advancement, or at least what others may see as problems. Sometimes labeled insubordination, I prefer to think of it as engaged discussion and collaboration between people who hold differing opinion. Still, one of my driving traits is the need and desire to help others succeed in their own goals, which is also one of the key points of this strength.

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  • Intellection: I’d be hard pressed to consider myself an intellectual, but this particular strength really calls out one of those traits in my personality that can be often misunderstood: my desire to think. Often that manifests in debate as I work to learn by talking through what I believe to be correct, and expect others to show me better ideas by supporting arguments with fact and information. As a Myers-Briggs INTJ/ENTJ, this strength also manifests during my introspective moments needed to either discover my own ideas or recharge from my more extroverted moments. While the thought process is indeed energizing at times, the constant din of thought does feel to me like constant audible conversation may feel to others. I also try to surround myself with people, friends, whom I consider smarter than I am, which also can manifest in misunderstood personality traits of others perceiving me to be haughtier than I am. Specifically I believe if I have figured out something, then surely everyone else has as well since I only surround myself with people who are smarter than I; an obvious flaw in an otherwise pleasing strength.

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  • Empathy: This is likely the one strength I may not totally agree with. I don’t think I have a talent for sensing other people’s feelings. Often I feel quite the opposite that I have no idea of what others are feeling or thinking. I do, however, think I have a good sense of being able to place myself in a consumer’s role and help see flaws in design or user experiences where others may not have thought about use cases I can see. Given the questions in the assessment, I think my business focus here skewed this result a bit towards more of a social personality trait than I actually exhibit, though I do agree that I can often hear the unasked questions and anticipate some level of need. The downside here is my inclination to not remain silent when at times I should.

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  • Command: The empathy strength noted I should partner with someone who has a strong command theme. I guess that means me 😉 The first line of this should sound very familiar to my friends, in that they all know I have little compunction with imposing my view on others. I never thought that would be seen as a strength! To me, this plays directly into my preference for open, honest, and transparent communication. And sometimes that does come off as intimidating, or so I’ve heard whisper of. Truly not my intent, but a side effect of combining a mild take-charge attitude with my inclination to use debate as a learning tool from my intellection strength. While I reel at the idea of being intimidating, holding back is even more damaging to me as I work to drive what I believe to be right.

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  • Deliberative: With empathy being the strength I doubt the most, Deliberative is the one I agree with the most. This one manifests itself as ‘negativity’ or being a ‘detractor’, when in reality it is just my strength at pointing out risks and mitigating factors that I don’t believe had been thought of. I can only smile in agreement when it is pointed out that this strength has me saying what I believe is correct regardless of potential impact upon my own reputation, all too true. In fact, it is the one instance where I likely don’t take the deliberative view and protect myself, but rather push forward for the right thing regardless of the risk to myself. And yes, I rarely dole out praise or recognition; another trait which has likely caused me issue professionally, but one I am aware of and have made deliberate strives towards changing.

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The Gallup Strengths Finder is $9.99 to take the assessment and unlock your top 5 strengths like I’ve shown above. With that you gain access to 3 reports containing similar but different information and organized for differing purposes such as action planning and full descriptions of each theme. You also gain access to their action planning tool and certificate generator. For an additional $89.00 you can unlock all 34 strengths and relative ranking which not only shows your top strengths, but your bottom strengths as well. From discussing the full report with others who have accessed theirs, it seems that the access to those bottom strengths can be just as beneficial and helpful as identifying your top 5. Personally, I’m not sold on the benefit to cost ratio of the full 34 report, but feel that the top 5 for only ten dollars was an expense well worth the professional improvement it could provide. If you opt to invest in yourself and open the top five report, I’d love to compare/contrast our results and learn more about each other.