Building Karma Networks

Jeneane was kicking my shins on the Skype-o-phone earlier today, about my habit of giving stuff away - consulting, writing and editing stuff for others, pimping friends into cool jobs, helping out with the Rotman MBA program, doing speaking gigs for the fun of it.

We all do it. Some of us have figured out how to get paid for it. Some of us just feel uncomfortable asking - even though we recognize the value of the service we provide. (I once did a deal with David Weinberger where he did some consulting for the software company I was with in return for a set of Beethoven CDs - he and I were both just too uncomfortable negotiating a daily rate or payment terms).

Interesting to find Hugh McLeod thinking along similar lines in one of his posts today, riffing off Jeff Jarvis' understandable outrage at being asked to pay to attend a conference at which he's been asked to speak.

Hugh says:

"...I figure every time I go to one of these things, it'll lead to something else down the line- a paid gig, an English Cut sale, whatever. The rule in meatspace is no different from the rule in cyberspace: Blogs are a good way to make things happen indirectly.

"I like
Adriana's idea that all long-term personal value comes from one's network. So the priority should be building that; and the bill-paying mechanisms will follow in time."

What he said.