If you are making money online or otherwise benefiting from the opportunities the Internet offers, I feel it is only fair you contribute something in return.
This doesn’t have to be money; there are many ways you can contribute to the Internet’s future development.
I am a strong believer in the concept that if you receive, you should give back in return. Think of the times you posted for help in a forum, and received a reply that solved your problem. Made you feel good, didn’t it? Not only was your problem fixed, but you were helped by someone that volunteered to help without any financial incentive.
The cycle of giving and receiving can be endless – it just needs enough people to get it started. If you are benefiting from the Internet, it is only right that you give something back.
Offer advice on forums
Just like the example I used above, giving something back to the online community can be as simple as offering advice on forums. I am sure that most of us already visit forums related to our areas of expertise and interest. Instead of skipping by those ‘help’ posts that you have read time and time again, take a few moments to help that person out.
Sure, the solution may be embarrassingly easy and obvious to you, but it isn’t to the person asking for help!
Who knows, it may even make you feel good knowing that you have helped someone out!
Respond to email requests for advice
Do you have a popular website or online community? I bet that every now and then you get emails from other site owners asking for your help or advice on something. I know for a fact that many of the well known bloggers such as Darren Rowse receive many emails asking for specific help and advice.
Why not reply to these emails? Share some of your expertise with them; who knows, they may just become the next Internet millionaire – this could be the start of a very profitable relationship!
If you are just too busy to forum surf and respond to those emails asking for help, how about committing yourself to regular charity donations? I am sure we can all think of a charity we support in mind, if not in cash! Consider setting up a monthly or annual payment to your favourite charity.
You’ll feel good, and you can advertise the donations on your site to create goodwill.
What do I give back?
I think that Community Spark is a good contributor to my ethos of ‘giving back’ to the online community. It takes time for me to maintain, and I make no money directly from it.
Additionally, with some of the profits earnt from Just Chat, I administer a free web hosting site. I don’t advertise it, I don’t gloat about it; it just sits there and allows the lucky few who stumble across it to apply and hopefully get some free hosting.
This is not a profitable venture, it is just my way of giving back to the online community. It also makes me feel really good watching people code and develop their very first websites thanks to my site.
Now it’s your turn
Are you making money online? Are you benefiting from the Internet? What do you give back to the online community? Let me know and share your opinions on my ‘receive and give’ concept by leaving a comment below.