Drupal and return on sharing

Another IBMer sent me an instant message out of the blue and introduced himself as a fellow Drupal developer. I noticed from the chat window that he was based in Atlanta, where a number of my other Drupal team members are from. He thanked me for sharing so much on the wiki, the peer-to-peer learning knowledge path, and my blog, and he said that he subscribed to my blog. He was interested in setting up a chat with me so that he could get advice on improving his team’s development process, and perhaps also getting a Drupal community started at our company. He also told me that he had voted for my abstract submission for DrupalCon09 (Totally Rocking Your Development Environment), and that he hoped to go to DrupalCon. I’m looking forward to chatting with him next week, and setting up more regular knowledge-sharing sessions around Drupal – we all have plenty of tips to share.

Random connections like that show the power of investing a few minutes to share what you know. It usually takes me fifteen minutes to write up a quick Drupal-related post about something I’ve tried or something I’ve learned, and the time helps me reflect on what I’ve done and make sure I understood what I was doing. As I keep investing these fifteen-minute chunks here and there, I accumulate an archive of useful resources. When people stumble across this archive – by searching, by coming across my digital footprints, by checking out a link – the archive gives them a lot of value without any additional effort from me. This is similar to the way investments earn residual income. You put in the work once, and you keep reaping the benefits.

Share what you know. You’ll learn a lot in the process, and you’ll meet a lot of people.