Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Being a good Netizen

If your job involves working on a computer all day (especially if you are in the technology business), then you probably couldn't do your job without the world wide web.  Please consider it your duty to give back.

As knowledge workers, we are trained to pull information from across the web and combine it with our own knowledge and experiences.  On some problems, good information is easy to find.  On others, you need to invest significant effort to figure it out.  In the latter case, post your insights back to the web.

With social media (and modern software development), this is easier than ever.  Try to link your post to the most authoritative place for the subject at hand.  If you cannot post it in-context, then provide enough context so that someone reasonably familiar with the topic could understand what you are saying.

This will make the content searchable and it will help both you and others.  The harder it is to find good info, the more time you spend on research, the more obscure your insights, the more important it is to post.

It sounds obvious, but I'm amazed at the number of engineers I've worked with that will spend significant time figuring something out, and then simply move on to the next problem without committing their findings to the public record.  When I do that, I'm doomed to repeat the exercise all over.

Leave the web a little better than you found it.

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