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Might as well wait until next year. Dec 18, 2004


B.F. Skinner was all the rage when I was being shaped as an undergraduate. Princeton's psychology faculty believed that what worked for pigeons should also work for humans. My primary takeaway was that random reinforcement kept the pigeons pecking at the bait bar. Ever since, my dear pigeon, I've used this as an excuse for irregular performance. That is to say, this issue of Internet Time Outbound is not late; I planned it this way, so it would have more impact.


eLearning is so last century

Even though most people credit me with coining the term eLearning, I don't use it much these days.

Performance is the goal; learning, but a path. Nearly a year ago, I wrote articles on The History of eLearning and The Future of eLearning that Emerald has published in the two latest issues of On the Horizon. If you're so inclined, you get to read them here for free.

On the Horizon articles


Workflow Institute News

The Workflow Learning Symposium in San Francisco this October exceeded our expectations. Nearly a thousand people attended Gloria Gery's and my keynote. Dozens of stalwarts attended all of our half-dozen breakout sessions. Streaming video and presentation slides from the Workflow Learning Symposium await you on the web.

Clark Quinn has joined the Workflow Institute as Director of User Experience. We're expanding our definition of workflow learning to include games, collaboration, meta-learning, and informal learning.

Workflow Institute


Internet Time Blog

Comment-spam on Internet Time Blog (as many as 350 lascivious intrusions a day!) convinced me to switch from Moveable Type back to Blogger, losing a number of readers in the process. Blogger is a joy, especially since getting a major facelift from the team at Adaptive Path.

If you want to receive new posts to Internet Time Blog as they happen, insert your email here:

You can unsubscribe at any time. By the way, I've concluded that in my case the simplicity of Blogger outweighs the neat things one can do with Moveable Type. Categories and Trackbacks are cool but I was being forced to take up scripting as a hobby. Life's too short.

Relationships are all. I wanted to give my readers a voice, so I experimented with Wikis. In the end, I decided to go with topic pages that permit comments. Wikis need a stronger sense of purpose in order to survive. My topic pages are a work in progress, but you're welcome to take a look--and to leave a comment.

While I was at it, I even created a home page!

Jay's Home Page


Recent Articles

The Business Singularity, Chief Learning Officer (2004), The structure of business, the role of workers and the architecture of software are changing before our very eyes. Business is morphing into flexible, self-organizing components that operate in real time. Software is becoming interoperable, open, ubiquitous and transparent. Workers are learning in small chunks delivered to individualized screens at the time of need. Learning is becoming a core business process measured by key performance indicators. Taken together, these changes create a new kind of business environment-a business singularity.

Improv Education, Chief Learning Officer (2004), Walk into the sales department, the warehouse, the call center or the executive suite, talk with the people there, and you know what you'll discover? The members of the organization are known as "workers." They are blue-collar workers, knowledge workers, hourly workers, commission-only workers and contractors doing work-for-hire. Nobody calls them "learners."

What Counts?, Chief Learning Officer (2004), Training directors bemoan not being able to demonstrate significant business results. If they remain entirely within the training function, they never will, because they don't own the yardstick that measures business results. Who owns that yardstick? Generally, it's training's sponsor, the person with authority to sign off on large expenditures.

Who Knows? Chief Learning Officer (2004), What would you think of an assembly line where workers didn't know where to find the parts they were supposed to attach? Absurd, you say. Heads would roll. Yet for knowledge workers, this is routine. Consider a knowledge worker stymied by a lack of information-hardly an uncommon situation. In fact, in many professions, knowledge workers spend a third of their time looking for answers and helping their colleagues do the same.

Recent Presentations

  • Online Educa (Berlin) - Informal learning rules
  • Training Fall (San Francisco) - The debut of Workflow Learning
  • eLearning Producer (Orlando) - Workflow learning considerations
  • TechLearn (New York) - Beware the dark side
  • HR Conference (Athens) - Collaboration & informal learning
  • eMerging eLearning (Abu Dhabi) - Blogs and informal learning
Eventually I'll post these at Internet Time.

Coolest New Thingamabob: Flickr

I can't say enough positive things about this free photo upload and sharing service. Just go play with it. Here are my photos. Brilliant design, superb interface, no learning curve.

Runner up: FURL

Here's my FURL.

Books I've Enjoyed Recently

  • Calvin Trillin, Feeding a Yen
  • Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential
  • Mikhaly Csikszentmihalyi, Good Business
  • Peter Fingar, The Real Time Enterprise
  • Carl Honore, In Praise of Slowness
  • Rob Cross, The Hidden Power of Social Networks

A friend's daughter asked, "Dad, what did people do at work to kill time before the internet?"

Peace be with you.

Jay Cross
Internet Time Group

email: [email protected]
voice: 510-528-3105
July 2004 Outbound