Assume People Have Already Seen What You’re Sharing
So you think you’re super original, copy-pasting content from Reddit into other platforms. Yeah, you’re not. Reddit is not some secret site, it has millions of users. Many of the people who do this (see: those who copy-paste a headline another user came up with) look ridiculous.
Of course the above is just an example. Finding content somewhere and then sharing it somewhere else isn’t new, it’s been happening on the web forever. Does that mean you can’t share something cool you found? Nope. Of course you can (and should).
But just make a simple assumption: assume (at least some of) your network has already seen it. Now, when you share it do so with that in mind. Add a unique headline that brings your own perspective and context. Remix it. Put it together with additional thoughts. You get the idea.
If you’re just a social zombie for another macro network or major media site, you are (potentially) a spammer or parrot to your community because they likely have already seen it. You look late, passé or slow to the punch and unoriginal. And in a real-time web you won’t win. The truth is (I’m so sorry to be the one to tell you) you likely aren’t “breaking” any news or content (other than that you make yourself – a huge reason to be the starting point). But the good news is you don’t have to. As we’ve said before: evolve beyond curation: add context, lead your category. And don’t worry about being first, worry about being unique and useful.
This is really a social web 101 thing that, looking around, almost no one seems to understand. Also note this advice isn’t specific to sharing things publicly: it applies equally to sharing things with friends privately or your team at work.
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