To share or not to share

via Lars Plougmann

Last month I delivered a session at SXSW. Immediately after came the inevitable requests that follow a public presentation: “when are you going to post your slides?”

My session topic was “social media mythbusters,” intended to examine commonly held beliefs around social media and behaviors that are assumed as givens. One that I didn’t cover in the session but that’s appropriate to explore now: content – especially that which is presented at a conference – should be shared.


Why do most social media efforts fail? A lack of clear objectives. Initiatives materialize too often without purpose and support. Effectiveness lies within a simple Covey idea: begin with the end in mind.

So the same lesson can apply to speaking at conferences. What motivates a speaker? Reasons vary: monetization, brand building (company and/or personal), perhaps skill development/mastery. All of those reasons can apply to a single instance, but avoiding conflict may mean staging different value capture activities over time. For example, the largest industry conferences rarely pay speakers, so you must weigh monetization vs. brand building.

I’ll eventually distribute my SXSW 2011 content, but not by posting slides straight up to Slideshare or similar; I’ll remix things a bit to share in a more blog-friendly format. But the question remains – and the answer isn’t the same every time. In fact, as the social “industry” evolves, increasing evidence points to the fact that it must be the money.

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