When you’re making content, or just making it available, it might seem like overkill to worry about the difference between sharing and distributing, or between groups and communities.
After all, once anything hits the web these days, it seems almost automatic that many people will see it unless you take steps to stop them.
The exposure of the content seems more sensitive when we think in terms of private or not-private. And part of our thinking about that includes a sense of the personal versus the impersonal.
Nothing has made all those differences more obvious and less consistent than Social Media. Are we surprised when someone has volunteered “too much information”? How about when we are unable to view something in one collection that is perfectly easy to grab in another collection? There are many experiences of content access that show the many ways people think, or don’t think, about how their material should be handled.
If there is a lesson to be learned, it is probably that different people think about the same content differently. It proves that we generally assign value to things at least as much as any value is absolutely “built in”.
Because of that, when you make content, or make it available, there is a matching game to play that should help you decide what is most important to you.
We’ve summarized the most persistent patterns that apply to how individuals and groups treat content, and how providing the content can be planned for its best use.
The summary should have immediate importance if you already have content spread about in a wide range of locations, or if you have the opposite — very little distribution of content you care about.
Organizing content helps to highlight its value by placing it in the right circumstances at the right time. Whether it’s time to reign it in, or time to let it out, content can have a life of its own because of you, and you have the chance to make that better.