Geek As Citizen: History, Posterity, and Our Terrible Past Creations

Previously I had focused on the value of publishing and republishing our past works (mostly focusing on the written word), and on helping others publish their works. I consider this an excellent example of geek citizenship as we organize information that others may find of use, review past work, and assist and empower others. If you’ve done any kind of writing over the years you know it’s power to reach people – to organize it’s access and help others do the same just lets more people benefit from someone’s creations.

However in my past work I was referring to things that would actually benefit people directly. Things we would be proud of and share gladly. Things that in short, we consider good works, even if they may be a bit rough around the edges.

The problem comes when dealing with things we’ve created that aren’t that good – or downright terrible.

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Geek As Citizen: The Role Of Republishing

I’d like to take a break from my analysis of Geeks as Citizens to focus on something I’ve been thinking about in regard to our social role – specific advice as opposed to my more general ruminations.

Actually, Geek As Citizen is going to go permeant here at MuseHack. It’s been quite inspiring, I think it’s useful, and it’s more applicable with actual practical examples. This is going to be one of those.

I’ve been speculating (which is my normal state) on how we geeks create and write a lot of things. Certainly I do because . . . well you’re here at this blog. I’ve been doing this and other writing for years.

Chances are you can or are writing various columns, blog posts, message board responses, and more. Sure, some of them may not seem useful, or relevant,for the ages, or even things you want to admit to writing. But I’m willing to bet some of them are pretty important and not overly humiliating.

So I want to suggest that you make an effort to ensure your great content gets a larger spread and a longer lifespan.  Yep, I suggest republishing.

I suggest this as part of “Geek As Citizen” because I consider part of good citizenry in our communities/countries/world to be maximizing our contributions and ensuring they get the widest reach possible. So, as a citizen geek, with so much that you’ve done over the years, I’d advise making sure more people can get it.

(Besides, you’re probably a lot more prolific than you appreciate)

Consider these possibilities:

  • Repost your work (especially past work that’s fallen into obscurity) on blogs and other sites, as long as you observe proper procedure (timeframes, duplication of content policies, etc).
  • Consolidate your work on your own website for easy of access. If you’ve got some long-running stuff give it it’s own website.
  • Take your work and bundle it up in a convenient document like a PDF or ePub for easy distribution (and learn something about publishing)
  • Take your work further and distribute it for free with Smashwords or something similar.
  • Go all the way and rewrite/edit the work into a full-scale book and/or eBook to get it out there. Maybe consider free eBooks and a physical book that actually costs (even if it’s only the POD price).

Now think of the advantages of doing this:

  • First of all you archive your works. Yes, you should be doing it anyway (which perhaps I’ll address more later), but it is the kind of initiative that helps you preserve them for posterity.
  • Secondly, it makes your works accessible in new formats. You didn’t think of Kindle when you wrote that adventure module a decade ago – now you can put it in that format.
  • Third, it lets you publicize your works as you advertise the new format. Even sending files to friends can result in them saying “hey I know someone who may want this.” Of course if you actually put usable content in new formats you might want to promote it.
  • Fourth, it helps you get in the habit of doing this. Trust me, it’s worth it.
  • Finally, it distributes your works. Which is kind of the point anyway, but still.
  • Oh and “double-finally” it gives other people the same idea.

Thus your work survives and propagates and has a chance to do more good. Pretty nice addition to any set of activities a citizen geek may take up.

It might even make you a little money – my books Epic Resume Go and Quest For Employment involved bundling up various tips, blog posts, and advice into books.  You might even find you have another career ahead of you . . .

– Steven “Republisher” Savage

How Blogging Helps Your Career #12 – The Garden

(The roundup for the “How Blogging Helps Your Career Series” is here)

Last week I wrote about how you could use your blog as a rough draft for your work.  It’s a pretty great way to try things out and find out what works.

The flip side of this is in that many cases your blog already has a lot of great material.  This of course,is because your awesome, or at least because I assume you are, run with it.

Think of all the material you made as part of regular blogging.  Think of the posts, analyses, and charts.  Think of what you can do with that.  Think for a minute about how much you may have forgotten, or how much you did.

You’re out there planting seeds all the time, almost haphazardly.  Any one of those can grow into a book or a class.  A lot of them could be bundled together in a publication.

Your blog is a garden.

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