Micro Persuasion points out the power of the positive side of the force, and the weaknesses of the dark side of the force. It is good advice for how to influence other researchers in the longer run as well.
Replace ‘blogger’ with researcher, links with cites, and so on. Here are some snippets but I found the whole thing a valuable reminder. I am going to keep it in mind the next time I hear the after-talk whiners, the moaners, and the strategic citers.
He said that to build a network you must be generous. This got me thinking. How generous are individual and corporate bloggers? The answer is some are very generous, others completely aren’t. And those who are generous are by far more successful and influential than the rest of the pack.
Then there are others – and I won’t name them – who are not generous. In fact, even worse, they are grievous. They syndicate snippets rather than publish full text RSS feeds. They don’t credit other bloggers who they clearly steal content from. They are filled with just nasty criticism, rather than a balance of ideas and constructive advice. They focus solely on themselves and not an iota on others. I have unsubscribed from all of these blogs. They’re just not worth my time. By the way this doesn’t just apply to bloggers. It goes for comments too. I ignore any trash that people leave on my blog or others and only focus on that which is constructive feedback (positive or negative).
The generosity dynamic that exists in the blogosphere is really important. If you want to have a successful blog – one that is read frequently by even a small audience of import – you have to be generous. There’s no way around it. You have to lavishly dish out links, advice, news, ideas, commentary, freebies, you name it. It’s up to you. However, if you’re going to live on the Dark Side of the blogosphere and be stingy, you will live a lonely life.
I think that the article brings up some questions—which came first, generosity of success? Given your talent, and output, is generosity always the way to be most successful, or is there a tradeoff? At least in research, I think that there is some ambiguity here. But being a selfish jerk does seem much less pleasant.