Don’t Be An Info Hoarder

I’m usually wary when I run into an info hoarder.  Info hoarders, more commonly known as resource hoarders, are individuals who closely guard their data, skills, contacts and resources from others in order to ensure their own importance on a campaign or in a company.

Nobody likes info hoarders.

Info hoarders hold up work and create an unnecessarily competitive atmosphere.  They let campaigns flounder by not sharing information, because they’re not in a lead position and inflate their own importance by being the sole keeper of the expertise.

Working in health communication and social marketing we all have limited budgets and we each have a piece of expertise in digital media.  Why not share that information with one another?

Part of what sets the non-profit and NGO world apart from the corporate sphere is that while corporations goals are distinct and mutually exclusive, those of us working in public health and behavior change are all essentially pulling towards a similar end.  Be it flu shots, medicine compliance or wearing seatbelts, we are all selling behavior change.

By no means does digital media doesn’t have a monopoly on info hoarders, nor did the discipline invent the phenomenon.  The pace at which platforms and technology change can tend to make info hoarders more common to digital media than to other areas.

How to not be an info hoarder:

  • Conduct internal trainings to build your inhouse capabilities;
  • Create a shared folder on your company’s internal drive, intranet or wiki with the latest research you’ve found, and note what campaigns you’ve used the data for;
  • Promote others’ good work on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter;
  • Respond in a timely and transparent manner when you’ve been asked by someone for information, guidance or best practices.

Both within our organizations and within the industry we need to work collaboratively.  I’m a firm believer that a rising tide floats all boats.  Our successes don’t detract from each other and we need to acknowledge that.

Info hoarding may inch us as individuals, slowly forward, but does nothing for the group as a whole.  So let’s share the wealth here!  Do you have resources?  Do you need resources?  What’s worked for you?  What hasn’t?  Let’s help each other out!

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