Internet Time Outbound

(This is a letter to the Internet Time mailing list.)

It's been three months since the last issue of Internet Time Outbound. I'm better writing a daily blog than churning out a once-in-a-while newsletter. Nonetheless, I'll give you a brain-dump of some things that struck me as important this past quarter.

If you're not familiar with blogs, note that the first thing you see may be the tip of an iceberg. Click "Continue" for more.

Informal Learning. This is the low-hanging fruit of performance improvement. Think of it as "unauthorized learning." It can move mountains and it is dirt cheap. Vendors won't tell you much about it because they haven't figured out how to make money from informal learning. See this article in CLO or this white paper.

Blogs. Web-logs, or blogs, are finally catching on in business. Blogs are a new medium, both a very simple way to write and slap pictures on the web and a means of preserving and indexing thoughts and observations. A good blog is an online salon. Blogs are nodes in communities of practice. Third graders post their assignments on the web and are critiqued by their peers. I wish I'd been able to do that. The first Ed Blogger event starts in a couple of weeks in San Francisco.

Workflow Learning. Tomorrow we're throwing open the doors of the Workflow Learning Institute. I am convinced that the NEXT BIG THING in learning & performance is just around the corner. Workflow Learning rides on the back of web services; it's the real-time, on-demand learning that appears when it's needed. Sam Adkins and I are publishing research reports, setting up a subscription news service, and trying to get the word out through webinars, eLearning, and live events.

TechLearn. Earlier this month I returned to Disneyworld for my sixth TechLearn. I've blogged them all. Photos and antique observations are available from this page. This year's summary: (1) Let's get small. (2) Provide it when they need it. (3) Work = learning = work.

Webinars. It's fun to webcast to people all over the world while sipping one's own blend of coffee and surveying the redwoods in the backyard. Two or three hundred people attended my events this quarter, so I plan to continue them next year. I want to experiment. Today's webcasts resemble lectures, or infomercials; I would rather conduct a dialogue. Stay tuned.

La France. I had a wonderful time visiting friends in Southern France. photos For something a bit more zany, try the How Berkeley Can You Be parade or our week in Toronto

Richard Saul Wurman spoke at Online Learning this year. Memorable lines: "I'm not that smart but I'm incredibly curious. I love it. ? Users? I don't give a shit. I don't know what's in their heads. I only know what's in mine. I only write about what I understand." Were only all designers this honest.

    "I sell my desire to learn about things. That journey is what you take people on."

    Someone else's joke: I thought my brain was the most important organ in my body and then I thought, hey, look who's telling me that.

    Getting at perspective, Saul tells a Steve Wright joke: "Everything is in walking distance ... if you have enough time."

    It's one of the most important things we do, but no one receives training in how to converse. (A meta-learning observation.). By the way, the Meta-Learning Lab is seeking funding to develop a "black belt" facilitator program. We are out to fix the process, not the events.

Social Network Analysis is important. (Back to the informal learning thing.) I became a charter member of the Institute for Social Network Analysis of the Economy and talked with the professor who discovered the "strength of weak ties." The irony is that I have heard from the Institute since I gave them my dues. It's like the page at the Society for Organizational Learning site: "What We Do. Practice - - - This page is currently under construction." (And has been under construction for more than two years.)

In a webinar on personalization, I asked people to imagine a store that treated customers the way early eLearning treated learners. You bought an expensive item last week and come back into the store. No one acknowledges you or says hello. No one calls you by name. They've already forgotten you were here before. They have no memory of your purchase. There isn't much merchandise on the shelves and you're not allowed to try anything on before you buy it. We never follow up. You want a personal shopper? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. That's a good one. Is it any wonder people don't buy this stuff?


Jay Cross, Internet TIme Group, Berkeley, California

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Posted by Jay Cross at November 13, 2003 08:55 PM | TrackBack

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Berkeley, California 94708

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