On Community

I was looking around my Google Drive today and found this document I wrote a few months ago. Sometimes I use Drive as a staging area for blog posts. Anyway, for some reason, I never published it. It’s pretty short and I think there’s some good stuff in there, so here it is:

I’ve written a good amount of articles, given a bunch of talks, taught a couple classes, and have even written a book. All accomplishments over the course of my 8 years as a Designer/Developer that I’m proud of, but probably not for the reason you might think. I don’t do it for Twitter followers, Facebook likes, a high Klout score, applause, Feeburner stats or even book royalties (believe me, there aren’t many). I do it to educate, improve to and give back to a community that we all take far too much from. At this point, I bet there are some folks calling BS.

Most of us have used systems, frameworks or libraries on projects that build up portfolios, which ultimately lead to better career paths.

A few years ago when I moved to LA (I’m in Boston now), I was at a party talking to someone who had been there much longer than I had been. He said to me, “Everyone who moves here wants something from someone, what do you want?” It made me think for weeks and I never came up with anything, because, what do I want from someone? Nothing at all, just to do my part. I’ve been told it’s weird because no one in an industry like this just wants to contribute for the sake of contributing – it doesn’t get you anything, trust me. Don’t get me wrong I want my name on my work like anyone else, but very often at the end of a talk I will offer up my presentation slides to anyone who would like to pass the information on. The focus is education; I’ve said before that building Web sites isn’t a noble profession, and I still mean it. There isn’t a whole lot we can contribute to the world, but we can, at the very least, help the free transfer of information the best we can.

Don’t tweet to be retweeted, it’s douchey and worst of all, transparent.