Whenever you talk about PR for a business, and as expected, the topic of a new tool comes up. Many times, it is something new, just launched or newly funded. In the last few days, I’ve been seeing a lot about Quora. Everyone from David Armano, the first I saw compare it to Four Square, to Chris Brogan and Mashable is buzzing about it. There was even mention of it on the Ragan website today. Well naturally, it’s trending now.
The article that got me thinking was the one on GovLoop by Bill Brantley. (His blog: blog.billbrantley.com in case you don’t belong or want to join GovLoop) By the way, if you do PR and social media for government, get in on that site.
The post is entitled “Are you building Community Or Am I just Painting Your Fence?”
I liked this take on Quora because most people liked it and I think he does too. But he asked the question: Am I creating content for someone else’s monetary benefit? Sure we all want to share. From the uber-popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it feels like a need.
But what are we really getting out of it? Who’s the real benefactor? To avoid feeling like you’ve been working for nothing, he suggests several questions to ask yourself when you participate in an online community:
- What’s in it for me?
- How much can I personalize the experience
- Do I have ownership of my work?
- Is the site owned by the community?
I think these are very valid and a good test of whether your time is worth the effort. I’d like to say I’m going to try and answer these and report back. Why not check and do the same? Tell me what you find out. I think it’ll be interesting and surprising! I know of at least four or more social networking sites I’m signed up for. Including Google Wave…. wait isn’t that gone now?! Bottom Line: Like anything else you spend time on: You need to say no to the things that aren’t important so you have time to do the things that are!