Earlier in the week, Kathy Sierra @ Creating Passionate Users talked about how CPU had made it to the Technorati Top 100 blogs. She seemed genuinely surprised and asked her readers to comment on what they got out of her blog.
I commented that I thought Kathy was one of the prime examples of the Generous Web at work. A busy writer, speaker, passionate-user-polemicist, horse enthusiast and software expert, Kathy finds time daily to post some of the most thought provoking posts on Creating Passionate Users. Her graphics are almost always perfect – visually complimenting her well written text.
If memory serves, (as I don’t have easy Internet access and am writing this off line here in Nairobi), Kathy’s site does not feature advertising. She’s not blogging for the money. She’s freely sharing her hard earned wisdom and knowledge to thousands of people she’s never met. Her generosity is wonderful…and very appreciated by this humble blogger. She challenges me to write posts that will more actively benefit my readers (rather than veering off into what Seth Godin refers to as "cat blog" territory.)
The Generous Web is the free sharing of what is becoming"Open Source" knowledge. It’s my friend, Ed Brenegar sharing his leadership wisdom; my friend, John Stanko teaching us to live our lives purposefully; Terry Heaton revealing the new media world’s disruption of the old; Dustin Staiger and Michael Wagner sharing their marketing insights; Michael Spencer driving TRs nuts while providing me with a more balanced Christian worldview; Darryl Dash teaching me (by example) how to be a gracious leader; Susan Arnold sharing her journey as a church leader and theology student; Doc Searles, Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Grant McCracken…the list goes on and on of the people who contribute to the Generous Web.
I quote from the Business Week article, The Power of Us, in my book, A Networked Conspiracy:
The nearly 1 billion people online worldwide — along with their shared knowledge, social contacts, online reputations, computing power, and more — are rapidly becoming a collective force of unprecedented power. For the first time in human history, mass cooperation across time and space is suddenly economical.
"There’s a fundamental shift in power happening," says Pierre M. Omidyar, founder and chairman of the online marketplace eBay Inc. "Everywhere, people are getting together and, using the Internet, disrupting whatever activities they’re involved in."
The Generous Web is a disruptive force for change – positive change that has the potential to radically alter the world. (Yes, there are many examples of the corallory to the Generous Web, the unGenerous Web, if you will. The bleatings, whingings, viturperative utterances of the disenchanted – attempting to infect the rest of the web with bile. But they are to be ignored…to be left to spin aimlessly in their tautological arguments – seemingly enjoyed by those few of their own ilk.)
I write this from Imbi’s and my flat in Nairobi. I am surrounded by short term faculty who are here sharing their knowledge with students from all over East Africa. None of the faculty are being paid to be here. All have either paid their own way or raised funds from family, friends and NGOs to support their work. They are generously sharing of their time, knowledge and talent. It is the same spirit at work in the practioners of the Generous Web – and it makes this a very exciting time to be alive.