Part of understanding Generous Minds in the 21st century is to understand social media. Social media is a rich environment where Generous Minds live, thrive and engage with others about their ideas. But not everyone on facebook is a Generous Mind. The key to finding the Generous Minds in social media is to look for people involved in two kinds of activities:
- Sharing ideas: if someone is using the power of social media to share ideas, links, videos, concepts in order to help people grow and understand the world around them, they may just be a Generous Mind.
- Connecting ideas: if someone is passing on the ideas of others and connecting ideas to others who they think will benefit, they may just be a Generous Mind.
Now you may be saying, “That makes almost everyone in the Web 2.0 world a Generous Mind.” I would respond a definite NO. There are some qualifiers that are very important to keep in mind. One of them is intentionality. Many people send around the YouTube video of a dog dancing. But that doesn’t have any particular value or intentionality to it. It is simply a shared experience.
Another key to distinguishing between the masses of link-happy friends and followers and a Generous Mind is the interaction that goes with the idea. If someone just sends an idea, link or video to all their friends with no interest in what they thought, then they are not Generous Minds. A Generous Mind is looking to use ideas to impact people and is interested in seeing what they learned, thought or how they applied the idea in their lives.
An Ideal Tool
Of all the social media tools, the one that I have found to be most conducive to a Generous Mind is Twitter. It’s not because it is one of the media’s favorites right now and it is not because it is the most personal or engaging tool. The reason is simple…there is no easier way to share ideas and connect an idea with a particular person than those 140 character messages. If you are a Generous Mind, Twitter puts your efforts on steroids. Within seconds you can share an article, a video, a quote with your growing group of followers. Then if you use a tool like Tweetdeck you can email messages and links you find to people even if they aren’t on Twitter. This allows you to target people who are looking for certain resources or need to build knowledge in specific areas.
So here is my challenge to you. If you are a Generous Mind, how are you using these social tools to exponentially increase the ideas you can share? Which tools are most helpful to you? I would love to hear from you.