Running through a lazy Saturday read of the feeds and I noticed that my long-time colleague and friend, Chris Stubbs, has written another one of his great posts. I have to admit reading Mr. Stubbs’ blog is one of my favorite things to do. If you don’t read it, go on and give him a shot. At any rate, Stubbs has a particularly good post today titled, No Invitation Required in which he comes right out and says what so many of us feel — don’t wait to participate.
Its not so much that he says it, it is that he says it well. I was particularly interested in his closing paragrph (right before he goes and quotes John Mayer … not that I don’t listen, just surprised):
So if you are reading this and you’ve ever hesitated to participate in the web 2.0 world – to comment, to friend someone, to offer up your $0.02 or jump into a conversation, take heed: don’t wait for an invitation. Not only is an invitation not required, but frankly it may never come. Even with the best analytics, the internet is closer to a one way mirror than a transparent piece of glass. Just because you are interested in a web 2.0 idea, podcast, or post, doesnt mean that the creators know it. The web is too big for invitations. And if you are worried about sounding stupid, worried you don’t have anything important to contribute, or are not willing to take the initiative, to speak your mind and to join in the conversation, you will never be recognized. Your voice will never be heard. You lose a chance to participate. The world loses your contribution. No one wins.
I think too many of us forget that the spaces we live in are very new to whole bunch of folks and that they aren’t aware of the protocol — they don’t know the rules are different in the web 2.0 space and many are very uncomfortable interrupting their understood social norms. I hear it from people quite a bit myself, “I didn’t know I could participate in the [insert name of event/opportunity/space here].” I just never really took a minute to step back and think that I am contributing to the problem by not being more overt, by not going beyond assuming people know they have an open invitation, by not being more clear. For that I am sorry, but as Stubbs says if you are waiting for the US Postal Service to show up with an invitation to the conversation you could be waiting a long time. But with that said, let me go ahead and say it so those who are here can read it for themselves — You are Invitied to Participate!
Now, how to get to the rest of the world who doesn’t know I have a blog?