Knowledge of various topics exists everywhere.
In the past, we used to consume information through traditional media (such as TV or movies), but now more and more people are looking to learn something new or consume knowledge from social networks, blogs, podcasts, and almost anywhere.
I spend a lot of my free time, consuming knowledge and sharing it back with the community.
I use Google Groups to manage multiple mailing lists (on various topics from security, cloud, and more), and push the news through RSS feeds to Twitter (and lately to Mastodon).
I began publishing articles on my blog Security & Cloud 27/4 in 2009, as advice I got from a good friend while being in between jobs.
In 2022 I published a book on Amazon called Cloud Security Handbook sharing knowledge about how to secure cloud services based on AWS, Azure, and GCP.
By the end of 2022, I joined friends in recording a series of podcasts and YouTube videos in Hebrew about cloud security, for the local community in Israel.
In this blog post, I will review some of the main reasons why sharing knowledge is important and why I highly recommend sharing your knowledge.
Raise awareness for a specific topic
Although technical information can be found using search engines, forums, and vendor documentation, in many cases I find it not enough.
Over the years, I've found out that there are topics that simply do not get enough attention on the Internet.
For example, if you are using Google to search for guidelines for installing Certification Authority, on the first result page, you will find a technical guideline I have published in 2010:
Another example, if you are searching "hardening guide for cisco routers", on the first result page, you will find a guide I published in 2010:
Even if you are looking for more bizarre terms such as OSI Model and cloud, you will find a blog post I have shared on the topic:
In all the above topics, I came across topics that I believe did not get enough deep-dive publications and needed to shine a flashlight on them.
Sense of community
I have found out that when you share knowledge with your peers and colleagues around the world, you get a sense of community.
Regardless of where you live or which language you speak (on read…), we all look for good sources of information.
Reinventing the wheel is always a possibility, but I find it not very useful.
I like to learn from other people's experiences, and if I am looking for a specific document, or solution to a problem I am currently looking to resolve, the best way is to look for previous posts on the public Internet.
If I do not find a solution to a problem I am trying to troubleshoot, I conduct research, reading dozens of articles, blog posts, or answers on forums, sorting all the relevant results, and begin writing a blog post, which I eventually share on the Internet.
In 2020 I was offered to join a community of professional called the AWS Community Builders program, which focus on sharing knowledge about AWS cloud services (such as blog posts, code samples, lectures on meetups, conferences, and more).
Why do I say "sense of community"?
Being a part of a global group of professionals who has a shared goal (in our case, to spread the news about Amazon Web Services), does provide you with a sense of community.
Regardless if you are an employee, a freelancer or even working for a vendor, sharing knowledge provides you leverage for your career.
Whether you publish on behalf of your employer or create your brand in the industry, you are becoming a public figure, and sometime in the far future when you are looking for the next thing in your career, your reputation (assuming it is a good one…) will assist you to find your next role.
I am not saying to focus your efforts on catching the attention of recruiters.
I am a big fan of knowledge sharing, and writing something new does provide me huge satisfaction, but in the era we live in, where recession and layoffs aren't that rare, consider creating your brand in the local or global industry, and become one of the experts people are looking for their expertise or advice.
How do you begin?
Find a medium you are comfortable with.
Choose a medium - It does not matter if you prefer to write blog posts, provide answers to questions on forums, record podcasts, or provide lectures (for a small or large audience).
Begin small - Begin with a small group of readers (or listeners), and as time goes by, once you feel comfortable enough, your target audience will grow.
Find a topic you relate with – From my personal experience this is a challenging part. I need a combination of a topic that I connect with and a writing muse.
Conduct research on the topic – Read the documentation, filter relevant information, and remember to write in your own words (do not copy/paste from other sources).
Accurate information – You do not have to be an expert on the topic you share information about, but readers would like to get the accurate information they can learn from. You can begin with short blog posts (1-3 pages long) and end up with a series of deep-dive technical sessions.
Attract readers' attention – Think about what will attract potential readers (usually personal experience is much better than vague examples) and embed it as part of your knowledge sharing.
Share everywhere – I am not suggesting to become a spammer, but use the power of social networks to spread the news about your posts, podcasts, lectures, or whatever knowledge you wish to share.
What does sharing knowledge as a way of life mean?
Keep researching for topics that can enrich your life, share your thoughts with friends, and colleagues over every medium you feel comfortable with, and do it on a daily (or at least weekly basis), until it becomes part of your life.
About the Author
Eyal Estrin is a cloud and information security architect, the owner of the blog Security & Cloud 24/7 and the author of the book Cloud Security Handbook, with more than 20 years in the IT industry.
Eyal is an AWS Community Builder since 2020.
You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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