Sharing your knowledge can feel a bit like tearing tearing off your clothes in public – it is the stuff nightmares are made of! Many of us grew up at a time when we were encouraged to ‘keep ourselves to ourselves’ and not tell the world everything that was on our minds. Times have changed, and as you have probably noticed, people now are not in the least bit reluctant to share exceptionally personal information. I’m not certainly suggesting that sharing your knowledge also has to done in a brash and tasteless way, but times have changed, and now it is no longer considered to be rude to share your knowledge publicly – especially when it can help others. (Think of Martha Stewart and her empire that grew from sharing recipes and housekeeping tips!)
So what are some of the ways you can share your life story, share your poetry, or share your knowledge? It may surprise you to know that both blogs and websites can be password protected so that only those you want to see the information can do so. It is also possible to password protect single pages that may contain sensitive material. I have a client who has a huge family genealogical database site. He wants to share enough about his family, that distant relatives can see the family origins, but all contact details for family members in the current generations are securely hidden. We have taken the added precaution of telling google not to add the site to their list of sites found in searches. This doesn’t mean the site is unfindable, but it does mean it wont be very public.
This makes a safe way to begin to share life stories, share your story online, or share any stories you may write online. Down the road you may decide to publish any of this material for members of your family to keep, but I understand that it takes time – and courage – to start putting your deeper thoughts out online. You may also feel protective of your knowledge, especially if it concerns a sensitive matter or is about a family member who is still alive.
Sharing Your Knowledge
What I have found when it comes to sharing your knowledge is this; you tend to have to start sharing gently. Exposing too much makes us feel uncomfortable, and as humans we are disinclined to keep doing anything that makes us feel uncomfortable! I began by creating a family recipe book that included favourite recipes, and included family photos, but which didn’t share anything too revealing. I still keep the book ‘private’ on the site, and only buy copies to send to friends and family members. Even now, that book isn’t listed amongst the books I have created, in part because it is about my family, and in part because my book designing skills have (mercifully) advanced somewhat since then… (The book in the photo isn’t my recipe book!) Clients also generally start by sharing less personal information to get started. They will post about public events and their thoughts about them for quite some time before they are comfortable sharing their own thoughts.
So sharing your knowledge is likely to feel odd and a bit uncomfortable at first. Unfortunately you have to start somewhere, and by password protecting your content, you can start writing, and keep adding to your knowledge base for as long as you need before you feel confident about letting it go public!