The Rise of the Collectors: a simple strategy to get noticed online

Our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN streams are cluttered with updates. Many of these updates are irrelevant and come from a few hyperactive individuals. Some of the updates are interesting, relevant and timely. What you share online says a lot about you.

The people that share too much irrelevant information (think forwarded emails about politics, jokes, scams, etc) and then there is a second group that also share frequently but improve their reputation because of the quality of what they share. Today  on Twitter a number of people shared Steve Rubel’s comment that “people who can separate quality from junk as curators will be gold.” For anyone that spends a significant amount of time online, you highly value those people that regularly share great content.

The majority of the information shared comes from a group of people I refer to as “The Collectors.” Being a Collector is neither good nor bad, it really depends on your skills as a collector and the relevance to your industry. It you want to become a collector all it takes is an interest in your subject and effort in terms of research and searching out quality. If you are a collector of information that is willing to share online, you get increased exposure, improve your reputation and brand yourself as someone that understands the industry.  You become a trusted source of great content (even if you don’t create any of this content yourself.) If you want to build a reputation as someone that really understand trends in environmental law for example, you can find and share the best articles written by others on this topic. The quality of your collection demonstrates your expertise and understanding of the industry.

It is important to note that the vast majority of the users of social media don’t share anything.  They lurk, they comment occasionally and they are for the most part passive participants, which is ok if you aren’t looking to build relationships. Many lawyers choose to lurk even though they are natural collectors, reading the daily news, Lexis and Westlaw daily reports and scanning competitor firm websites for new insights. They don’t realize that this behavior is highly valued online.

These lawyers need to open their eyes to the value of their collection.  They need to start sharing their collection online. Sharing is simple, and its getting easier all the time. We have all emailed an article to a valued contact, now we can take one additional step and paste that same link into Tweetdeck and share it instantly over Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook and a number of other social networking sites. This one extra step can make a big difference.

We are used to PUSHING out our content to people that we believe are interested in what have to share, now by publishing the content online through social networking sites we can also start to PULL in interested parties. We don’t have to find them, they will find us. . . if the quality of the content is there.



9 Responses to “The Rise of the Collectors: a simple strategy to get noticed online”

  1. Great article. Thinking of sharers as collectors and filters of what is relevant is an original and extremely valuable perspective. I believe that the way we share the things that are important to us with those who matter is changing and becoming ever more important. The problem is that doing it by email breaks the connection between or provate and public social networks. While privacy is extremely important, having a way to leverage the amazing content that is generated by the ones who are close to us is to previous to be lost in some e-mail inbox. That is why we launched Bueda. Hopefully we can help people share with those who are close and foster discussions around stuff that is important to them. Check it out and thank you for your article.

  2. Wondering what your opinion is on this Adrian: Is there a limit on sharing quality content? On Twitter, I really try to limit myself to no more than 10 tweets/day.

    • 10 tweets is a lot, but I think that people will have a greater tolerance for more tweets as long as the quality if consistent.

      There really isn’t one right way or one right amount, it will come down to your personality. Some people are more comfortable than others sharing often. You kind of need to figure out what works for you. Some days I’ll share 20 articles, other days I don’t share anything, so for me it depends on the time I have to find content.

      Hope that helps.

  3. Daniel Nunes says:

    I do not like collectors! Sorry! 🙂

    I use social networks to simply talk about what interests me!

    I would not trade for anything in this world … not even for the best collector in the world … a nice Twitter conversation about the best interpretation of Beethoven 7th Symphony …

    I praise social media for that.

    • Daniel,

      Thanks for the comment, I understand some people don’t like collectors, but it is unusual that there isn’t some type of collector that would be valuable to you- someone that collects information that is the type you would enjoy. I’m not a big collector, but I really appreciate those who are because they help me find great information saving me time on a daily basis.

      As someone that enjoys actual conversation through social media puts you in the minority, the majority are lurkers that simply read and observe and rarely talk. For those, collectors are extremely valuable.

      • Hi Adrian – I am an avid collector and distributor and use LinkedIn to share my finds with my numerous groups, based on the subject and the relevance to each group, with an introductory note and a question about the topic to solicit a discussion. I would be reading these materials (generally about the practice of law, women lawyers and social media for lawyers) for my own interest and this lets me share this content with others having similar interests (and of course raise my own profile in the process!).

  4. Amy Knapp says:

    Well said, Adrian. Teaching attorneys to share not just things about themselves but also valuable online content can be an uphill battle. I’m going to include this article with the handouts at my next Linkedin training session (which is Monday). Thanks!

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