Posts vs. Contributions

A post is different from a contribution.

In fact, I’d argue most posts are not really contributions at all.

A contribution, to use a precise definition, is a gift made towards the creation of a greater, collective, good. Posts which are self-serving and help nobody else aren’t really contributions.

Someone sharing a thoughtful, nuanced, opinion about politics which reframes an old issue in a new light is probably a contribution.

Someone posting how much they hate Trump is not.

Someone sharing their experience dealing with a difficult medical condition, things to be aware of, useful links, resources, and an offer to help guide others through it is making a tremendous contribution.

Someone posting how they’re feeling today is (probably) not.

Someone reaching out to members who have been missing for a while, checking they’re ok, and guiding them back into the community might be making a contribution. Someone who takes the extra time to add the right background, context, categorisation, and tags to their question for future people who have that problem is making a contribution.

….someone asking how to fix their iPhone is not.

One of the biggest problems right now is we’re far better at counting and rewarding posts than we are at contributions. The people who make contributions need you to be better at recognising contributions than posts. They need you to drop them a private note of gratitude, highlight their efforts, and share their stories of the best contribution.

Not many people are going to make a second contribution if their first was quickly buried off-screen below hundreds of posts.

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