How The Collective Knowledge Of The Group Benefits All

The shared knowledge of a group means people work smarter collectively.

This article is about encouraging a sharing culture. A collective effort becomes more skilled and knowledgeable.

The roots for this article comes from the September, You Are The Media Lunch Club. The main topic was centred on writing with Rebecca Perl from MessageLab Communications. The theme was, ‘How To Be A Better Blogger Even If You Got A D In English GCSE.’ 

This wasn’t about hearing someone else’s story and how writing works for their business. It was about sharing tips, resources and a better approach to your writing efforts. With grit and practice, people will be more compelled to share your work and get closer to you.

Rebecca delivered a host of resources for people to try out, save time and become more accomplished if this a platform to delve deeper. For instance, http://www.hemingwayapp.com will now be a tool to help me and to check in with.


There is always a starting point for someone. This could be when someone has seen enough, so they feel comfortable to subscribe. This makes it easier for layers to be added. In my case if someone subscribes to the Thursday YATM email, it becomes easier to introduce the other elements, such as the Lunch Clubs and the YATM Podcast.

Subscribers make a commitment and stay with you when they have enough prior knowledge, if not, they are lost. As more people come closer, the crowd grows.

James Surowiecki said in his 2004 book, The Wisdom Of Crowds, ‘the crowd becomes more influential as it becomes bigger.’ Proof is when a group of people work together or share ideas that can help each other.

This is what You Are The Media represents. It is becoming a platform to put talented people within their areas of expertise, in front of others. For instance, in the middle of the You Are The Media Podcast, John Espirian has his LinkedIn Sofa section. The intention is  for people to be more confident when using LinkedIn. It is about fostering stronger links and drawing people to you.

I have taken so much from John since he came onboard the show during 2018. The people who are a part of You Are The Media represents others who are prepared to step up to share. 

It doesn’t have to be one person thinking they have the answer to everything. When it becomes a collective effort, the sum of its parts becomes stronger. I represent the curator to link the learning together and show how the jigsaw looks. My role is to put the right resources in front of people to learn from. The message is how people and companies can use media for their own advantage, draw people in, grow a customer base and encourage trust and loyalty.

When it comes to shared knowledge, people’s reputations become a necessary asset. Names and faces helps people make association. I have noticed a real change of force, where the group becomes a way to share, encourage and drive learning, rather than a means to sell to.

Reasons Why Collective Knowledge Works

Why does the knowledge of a group work? A collective effort does work, rather than voices in isolation. Let me share why it’s good to get people together over a shared idea and then lean into it over the long term.

It works best when it starts with a clear agenda not an unfair advantage to someone else or company.

An example where this doesn’t work could be an event from a company that specialises in SEO and that every call to action is towards a product or service.

When there is an advantage to someone else, it creates an imbalance. For instance, I was asked why I don’t sell my companies services at the You Are The Media Conference? If I did, this would start to create a distance between myself and the audience, where the only reason they came would be for me to use as a platform to sell from. This would mean an abuse of trust, where people come to learn and take new ideas away, not a means to be directed to something to buy. Value created can then lead to sales.

People have direct access to each other.

When you encourage distance, you start to form boundaries and no one wins. For instance, during this summer there was an intimate event with Mark Schaefer. On his way back to the US, he spent an afternoon on Bournemouth seafront to deliver his Marketing Rebellion talk. 

When the event finished, everyone, including Mark, stayed for a drink, a chat have photos and for everyone to be a part of the occasion. The reason it felt special was that everyone had this sense of togetherness for the afternoon. People benefit when the environment is informal. This is why it works by having an annual business conference in a theatre, this way people who are attending for the first time, do not feel intimidated. 

Allows and encourages further direction and ongoing learning.

When a group come together, it should have a responsibility to point people to places for further reference and to explore deeper. For instance, at the September Lunch Club, Rebecca ended the session with suggestions for wider reading to help others with their own efforts. Knowledge is shared, it is passed on.

Even if people have different levels of expertise, everyone is respected.

When a group come together, there is a basic level of understanding that is determined by what you deliver (in my case it is a weekly email). If they don’t understand but can look back at a library of information, it can then access a deeper level of learning. To have any chance of encouraging a sharing culture, you have to make something (and come back to it) that encourages an ongoing path. The learning is continuous and people have the ability to contribute.

Expertise happens over time, the gradual slow burn can work.

As individuals you learn from people with expertise to share. When this becomes something that happens over time, you can bring in other people to share and take part. If the experts are within the group, this makes the whole group stronger with a single identity. If the go to people are part of the group, no one is a stranger.

Let’s Round-Up

Shared knowledge from the group can benefit everyone. This encourages deeper connections, relatable conversations and people who belong to something. 

We all seek out social contact as it helps cement bonds, as well as being rewarding. If there is a space to encourage this and bring people together, everyone has a role to play and the group can learn together.

When people are part of a group, there represents the ability to create a shared experience. We need occasions for people to come together and lean in. This is where real relationships are.

The reward to creating a group and others feeling a part of it is that they will feel comfortable to return to it. This is vital if you want to create something that has longevity. The best experiences to learn and build together can be found in the real world, where face to face interaction helps us be ourselves and to belong.

N.B. If you want to listen to me reading this article to you, click below.

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