Pay it forward…

A couple of things recently, both personally and professionally, have reminded me of the concept of ‘Pay it Forward’.

When somebody does you a favour, you repay it by helping out someone else.

It was this concept that got me started with planning my first ever UKOUG presentation, which led to the blog.
I’d had a great deal of help and encouragement from people within the community and I wanted to return the favour by helping others.

Since then (which was way back in 2005!) I’ve continued to volunteer for the UKOUG first as a SIG Chair, then with the Northern Server Tech Days and the Back to Basics Event and most recently I have been doing my bit as a UKOUG Director.

I may not have been blogging recently, but I have still been able to feel that I have been doing my bit for the community.

Like most people that blog or post responses in the forums etc, I do what I do because I enjoy it and because I get a lot out of it.

I suppose with that in mind it’s quite easy to forget that you are paying it forward.

However, today I was reading this article which brought it all back again.
I realise that this particular post is aimed towards OBIEE, but judging by some of the comments and others I have seen elsewhere, it seems to reflect the OTN forums as a whole.

Is the sense of community really in danger of disappearing? I really hope not.

Way back many moons ago, I posted this about people being lazy and expecting to have knowledge handed to them on a plate with no inclination to learn or understand for themselves.

Everybody needs to remember that the forums, list servers and User Groups exist to serve a community, and this service is provided, for the most part, by volunteers.
That’s right, people who are under no obligation whatsoever to contribute, yet they choose to do so.

I’d hate to think that there could come a time when volunteers feel that the time and effort they invest in the community is no longer worthwhile.

If you want to take something from this community, then do the decent thing and put something back into it too – even if the only thing you can contribute at present is putting a bit of thought into what you are asking and showing a bit of respect and appreciation towards those who have taken the time out of their day jobs to help you.

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3 Responses to Pay it forward…

  1. Joel Garry says:

    >Maybe everyone is just busy. Online fora go through ups and downs, and right now perhaps you have a lot of people recovering from Open World and getting ready for whatever the next more local conference is and evaluating 11g and figuring out Brizzly and… I know I've nearly disappeared online for years at a stretch just because I've become busy at DBAing. Nowadays my motivations are selfish, I use volunteering to keep abreast of what's happening, and sometimes simply procrastinating work – is that "good lazy?" :-)Between IM and twitter there may be some technology mediated social networking issues, too.In the end, all these fora, like companies, are basically their people. Sometimes it's just a matter of posting, and everyone else sees it and thinks it is a good idea.word: pokato

  2. Lisa says:

    >Hi Joel,The type of Lazy that I was implying and referring to is the kind where people turn to the forums instead of trying to solve the problems themselves, people who show no willing to do antyhing for themselves.Sort of like the person in my original post that suggested they wanted an answer provided quicker than they could read the manuals – or indeed the recent poster on the OTN forum that has posted their entire assignment.It's one thing to ask for help with a specfic question, but to post an entire assignment? Unbelievable.

  3. DBA says:

    >Sometimes it's just a matter of posting, and everyone else sees it and thinks it is a good idea.

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