John Moore's post: Please Stop Telling Me How Great You Are spurred some great conversation on GovLoop today. You should read the whole post, but if you only have a few seconds, here's the jist: "too many people look at social media as a tool to blast out messages and fail to understand that these tools are not simply about communication, they are channels within and across which you need to build relationships."
Scott Burns commented: "just re-posted on our internal blog with this summary: better to be awesome and contribute than to be average and promote."
I agree with John and Scott. For the truly great, their works speaks for itself. Also gives them more time to do great work (talk is cheap if it's just talk).
One downside, however, is that there are lots people out there doing amazing work, which in the immediate term, might not be recognized as much as it should be. We all benefit from learning about great happenings, but only if we know about them!
How to solve? Interview the best and brightest and share. We all learn, and the best get to talk about their contributions, but not from the position of incessantly promoting.
From a community building perspective, this is a great technique to implement into a weekly blog schedule. Interview a member who is doing great work, or who is simply a great contributer. Ask them to give an introduction about who they are, what they do, what's most exciting in their day to day, and more off the cuff questions to add a bit of flair to the interview. It will set a great precedent for other members to aspire to, bring share-worthy work to the forefront, and spur some good conversation.