I’ll start with Chris Brogan, who is the supreme Jedi Master of all things web 2.0. The penny really dropped for me on this stuff with a post on The Value of Networks:
…The power of all these social software applications is that they empower us to communicate rapidly, in a one-to-many format, and along the lines of our networks of value. To that end, be sure to use this to accomplish your goals. Make sure you know the size and depth of your personal database. Make sure your contacts and connections are well connected through these digital tools. Try to build them all such that you can respond quickly to people’s needs, and that you can reach the edges of your network, and help others extend out to theirs, so that everyone may take full effect of that work.
And don’t be evil. (Easy, right?)
I consider your participation here a value of my network. The fact that you come and share your ideas and insights is wonderful to me. I’m not always nearby a computer to respond back to every comment, but I read everything you say, and I LOVE when someone in comments communicates to someone else, and when you go off and blog your own take on the original idea that takes it in another direction. Thank you for this. I’m forever grateful.
It’s not just the words that are valuable here… it’s the attitude and the posture behind them. If you can get into that mindset – of serving the community for the benefit of all rather than just advancing your personal agenda, you will succeed in this medium. It all starts here, as simple as it seems.
Chris’ Best Of is a mother lode of sound, practical thinking and insight about the nature and use of social media. Start where you like, and poke around.
His newsletter is also an excellent habit, you can subscribe to it here.