Share Human: The Value of Sharing Beyond Authenticity

Ithaca College’s Dave Cameron (no, not THAT Dave Cameron. Or the other one. This one.) brought down the house at last year’s HighEdWeb New England with his “Share Human” keynote. He brought a version of that talk to #heweb16.

Dave starts with the reminder that “the entire point of being human… is to share.” He started with a story about his friend Eric, who he remained in contact with online, but hadn’t seen in years; when he got the news of his friend’s untimely death in a car accident, it reminded him that “we only have so many tomorrows,” and that it was important for him to share more: “Sharing is the purpose of living.”

We’re constantly inventing new ways to share — from the earliest sculptures and cave drawings to Facebook walls and conferences — and as we always have the capability to share as individuals, we also have the capability to share as an organization/brand/institution. “We have to make sure that we share authentically,” he reminds us. “As soon as we start collaborating,, it’s easy to lose the common understanding of what that authenticity really is.”

Authenticity may be a moving target (#nofilter!), so we need to look for the things that surround it. We need to find authenticity by observing what happens to define things as “authentic.” Dave shared what appeared to be an “authentic” image of the Ithaca campus; he then revealed that the photo was actually six photos, stitched together by excellent editing. So… is that “authentic?”

Authenticity is in the eye of the beholder — your audience decides what’s authentic or not. Much like the TARDIS, your authenticity is “bigger on the inside,” and will change over time as you grow and change. And that’s true for your organization as well; but Dave reminded us that “what matters is agenda.” If you’re advertising something, advertise it. If your agenda is true, you’ll be more authentic.

Dave reminded us of his HUMAN menmonic: “honest, unafraid, mindful, active, & nice.”

“Be flawed, and people will like you more. You’ll be more human.”

Dave also talked about throwing open the windows to the creation process. Even the main social media sites have “Developer” sites where you can see what’s under the hood and what tools are available to you. (ex: Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram)

And in fact, you can see Dave’s story of building his presentation as he made it here:

Being HUMAN is key to understanding sharing: “even the smallest pebbles make big ripples.” Share, and anything is possible.